Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

Asia-pacific

China formally eases one-child policy

© Photo: AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-28

China on Saturday formally approved the easing of its longstanding one-child policy, allowing couples to have a second child if one parent is an only child, official news agency Xinhua reported.

Previously, a couple could generally only have a second child if both parents were only children, or if the first born to a rural couple was a girl.

It is the first major reform to the policy since it was implemented three decades ago with the aim of keeping China’s population growth in check.

The plan was envisioned by the ruling Communist Party about five years ago, with officials worried that the strict controls were undermining economic growth and contributing to a rapidly ageing population China had no hope of supporting financially.

On Saturday China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament approved a resolution to formalise the law change, with responsibility for its implementation to be delegated to local legislatures, Xinhua said.

Labour camps abolished

A second major reform was also formalised Saturday, with parliament aproving the abolition of a controversial labour camp system.

The “re-education through labour” system, in place since 1957, allows police to sentence petty criminals to up to four years’ confinement in labour camps without going through the courts.

Critics say the system undermines the rule of law and is often used against political activists and followers of Falun Gong, a banned spiritual group, while state media has said that the development of China's legal system has rendered the camps "superfluous", with their "historical mission" having come to an end.

According to UN figures published in 2009, an estimated 190,000 people were being held in the camps.

All existing inmates will now be freed, Xinhua reported.

The changes to both the one-child and labour camp polices were included among a sweeping raft of reforms announced last month after a Communist Party meeting that mapped out policy for the next decade.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-12-28

  • CHINA

    China to relax strict one-child policy

    Read more

  • CHINA

    China begins talks on economic reform

    Read more

  • FRANCE-CHINA

    China intimidates FRANCE 24 reporter over Tibet film

    Read more

COMMENT(S)