China to relax 'one child' policy - with conditions
Couples living in urban areas can have two children if one of the parents was an only child
Those unfamiliar with China's inner workings are well aware of China's one child policy: couples living in urban areas are allowed to only have one child. China is set to relax that policy, with conditions. From here on in, couples can now have two children if one of the parents was an only child.
Some have said that the one child law hurts China's elderly, who typically rely on their children for support in old age.
Though applauded by many for slowing down China's population growth, China's one child policy has been widely criticized for resulting in forced abortions coupled with hefty fines used to enforce it.
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Some have said that the law hurts China's elderly, who typically rely on their children for support in old age. The policy also limits economic growth as the working age population begins to decline.
"Since the policy now allows it, I will definitely have a second child," one young woman living in Beijing says. "It's too lonely for a single child."
Another Beijing man agreed. "When I get married, I would prefer having two children as I'm the only child in my family. My childhood was a bit boring," he said.
A third commuter also offered their comments. "It's a great new policy. Raising three kids is a bit stressful, but two are just perfect."
In spit of this, the wheels of human rights in the Asian giant remains far too slow. After months of hints, China also said that they would abolish labor camps in an effort to improve human rights. Officials say that other controversial policies were under review.
The biggest change would be abolishing the so-called "re-education through labor" system under which tens of thousands are imprisoned in China without trial.
"Reform through labor" was set up in the 1950s under Mao Zedong and modeled on Soviet gulags. These camps where "counter revolutionaries" and "class enemies" could be detained without trial.
Millions are believed to have died through overwork, suicide and harsh conditions until a system overhaul in the 1970s when Deng Xiaoping released prisoners accused of political and religious offenses.
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