China Relaxes Decades-Long One-Child Policy

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Women push babies in prams through a Beijing park during a public holiday on April 5, 2011 for the Qingming Festival, also known as Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day.
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For decades, the family structure in China has been limited by the nation's one-child policy, which was established by the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to limit the country's population growth, which now sits at about 1.3 billion.

Families that break the one-child policy could face fines, pressures to abort a pregnancy, and even forced sterilization can be accompanied by second or subsequent pregnancies.

But now men and women have more options when it comes to family structure: The Chinese news agency Xinhua announced yesterday that the nation will loosen its one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children if one of the two parents is an only child.

Shirong Chen, Managing Editor at Foremost 4 Media Limited and former China Editor at BBC Global News, joins The Takeaway to explain the cultural and political significance of this shift in Chinese policy.