China is to scrap its one-child policy, first implemented in 1979, according to reports from the state-run news agency Xinhua.
The news emerges at the end of a four-day meeting of China's ruling Communist Party. All Chinese couples will now be abbe to have two children, not just one, according to the news agency.
The BBC notes that since its introduction over 30 years ago to control the birth rate, the policy has been "estimated to have prevented about 400 million births." But recently, China's ageing population has been a cause for concern among senior officials, and many have been calling for a change to the rules.
In the past, couples have suffered punishments ranging from fines to enforced abortions for daring to violate the rule. While some provinces had already relaxed the policy, couples across the entire country will now be able to have two children.
Image by Webber Huang under Creative Commons licence