On December 30, Xinhua released the full text of a directive issued by the China Communist Party Central Committee and State Council on changing the one-child policy to a two-child policy.
According to the directive, if a spouse is the only child, the spouse may have two children. This change to the two-child policy will, among other things:
(1) “Help to sustain healthy economic development. At present, China’s low birth rate has declined steadily; the total working-age population for 15 to 59 year old has been decreasing; the average age of the labor force continues to increase. The aging of China’s population has been accelerating and the aging trend is obvious.”
(2) “Help to bring family happiness and social harmony. In recent years, with structural diversification, the family size has been shrinking; one-child families and elderly people living alone are on the rise; births, support to the elderly, and other basic functions of the family have been weakened.”
(3) “Help to promote the balanced long-term development of the population. In the early 1990s, China became one of the low birth rate countries. With economic and social development, improvement in the level of urbanization, and a change in the public attitude toward childbearing, women now have fewer total births.”
Source: Xinhua, December 30, 2014