China announced on Monday that each couple would be permitted to have up to three children, a major policy shift from the existing limit of two children after recent data showed a dramatic decline in births in the world’s most populous country.
The change was approved during a politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping, the official news agency Xinhua reported.
In 2016, China scrapped its decades-old one-child policy — initially imposed to halt a population explosion — with a two-child limit, which failed to result in a sustained surge in births as the high cost of raising children in Chinese cities deterred many couples from starting families.
“To further optimise the birth policy, (China) will implement a one-married-couple-can-have-three-children policy,” Xinhua said in a report on the meeting.
The policy change will come with “supportive measures, which will be conducive to improving our country’s population structure, fulfilling the country’s strategy of actively coping with an ageing population and maintaining the advantage, endowment of human resources”, Xinhua said. It did not specify the support measures.—Reuters