China will ease its family planning policies and abolish a controversial labour camp system, in a series of major reforms announced on Friday by the ruling Communist Party of China.
The policy changes were announced in a document following a four day meeting of party leaders in Beijing.
The landmark reforms will allow a couple to have two children if one of the parents is an only child, as part of an adjustment of the birth policy to promote “long-term balanced development of the population in China”, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Previously, a couple cold have a second child if both parents were only children.
The one-child policy was first introduced in 1970 in a bid to restrain the rapidly growing population and limited most couples living in urban areas to one child.
The reform package will also see China abolish the labour camp system, which it calls re-education through labour, and reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty “step by step”, Xinhua added.
They also promise "improved supervision" to ensure all are treated equally before the law and a crack down on internet crime.