China unwrapped its boldest set of economic and social reforms in nearly three decades on Friday, relaxing its one-child policy and further freeing up markets in order to put the world's second-largest economy on a more stable footing.
The sweeping changes helped dispel doubts about the leadership's zest for the reforms needed to give the economy fresh momentum as three decades of breakneck expansion shows signs of faltering.
A reform document released by the Communist Party following a four-day conclave of its top brass promised land and residence registration reforms needed to boost China's urban population and allow its transition to a western-style service and consumption-driven economy.
Pricing of fuels, electricity and other key resources - now a source of major distortions - would be mainly decided by markets, while Beijing also pledged to speed up the opening up of its capital account and further financial liberalization.
"The reforms are unprecedented," said Xu Hongcai, senior economist at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, a well-connected Beijing think tank. "Reforms in 1990s were limited to some areas, now reforms are all-round."
President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, appointed in March, announced several breakthroughs in social policy, pledging to unify rural and urban social security systems and to abolish controversial labour camps, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing the document.