From Washington, this is VOA News.
I’m Ira Mellman.
China approves a major revision to its “one child” policy.
China has ended its long-standing one child policy and will now allow all couples to have two children.
The plan was unveiled Thursday following high-level closed-door political meetings this week in Beijing. Analysts said a two-child policy, while a welcome move, will do little to help lift the country's declining birth rate or shrinking workforce.
VOA's Bill Ide in Beijing says the two-child policy is a further relaxation, after China, in late 2013, allowed couples, one of whom has no siblings, to have a second child.
"China has been inching toward this for quite some time now. In rural areas, families are allowed to have two children, and just a few years ago, in 2013, the government also allowed couples, who if one of the couples was a single child, that they could have a second child. So China has gradually been easing this policy, but it is a big change, overall.”
The restrictions have led to an imbalanced sex ratio because of a traditional preference for boys. Studies say there are 117 boys for every 100 girls in China.
China's Defense Ministry said it will voice its "solemn position" to the United States when top navy officials from both countries hold an hour-long video teleconference Thursday to discuss tensions in the South China Sea and naval ties.
Earlier this week, Washington took its biggest step to date to challenge China's claims in the South China Sea, sailing a U.S. navy warship within a 12 nautical mile zone of one of the man-made islands.
This is VOA.
Words in This Newscast
revision – n. change
long-standing – adj. lasting or existing for a long time
allow – v. to permit or let
couples – n. two people who are married or have a serious relationship
unveiled – v. to release, declare or announce
closed-door – adj. done in secret or in private
analysts – n. observers or experts
further – adv. additional or greater
relaxation – n. easing
siblings – n. brothers or sisters
inching – v. moving slowly
imbalanced – n. a condition when different things are not represented in equal amounts
ratio – n. the relationship the exists between the size or number of things
preference – n. a feeling of liking one person or thing more than another
solemn – adv. very serious or sad
teleconference – n. the use of telephones and video equipment to have a meeting with people who are in different places
challenge – v. to test or question
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