China is to loosen its controversial one-child policy and allow couples to have two children if one of the parents is an only child, Chinese state media reported Friday.
The policy shift announced Friday is one of several key decisions approved by the Communist Party of China (CPC) at its historic and secretive Third Plenary Session earlier this week.
The CPC said the change in family planning policy was intended to promote "long-term balanced development of the population in China," according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
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Under the current law, couples living in Chinese cities can only have two children if neither have any brothers or sisters.
Among the package of reforms, the CPC also announced the abolition of the "re-education through labor" system, in what Xinhua said was a bid to improve human rights.
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The labor-camp system was designed to punish early critics of the Communist Party, but it is now used by local officials to deal with people who challenge the state on rights issues and corruption, the Associated Press said.