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The change in policy comes on the heels of a series of prior measures to loosen China’s draconian one-child policy, which had been in effect since 1979. In 2002 the policy was amended to allow couples in which both parents were single children to have a second child. A subsequent amendment, made in November 2013, allowed families in which either the husband or the wife was from a single-child family to have two children.
Now the central government has apparently decided to further lift restrictions, allowing all Chinese couples to have two children, presumably in hopes of reversing (or at least slowing) the country’s accelerated demographic transition toward an increasingly elderly population.