China has explained that under its new “two-child policy”, prospective parents do not need to obtain approval to have two children.
A document released by the central government and ruling Communist Party on Tuesday in Beijing said families would be able to “independently arrange childbearing” under the new policy, without applying for approval.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission had said in October that couples would still need approval at first.
The document released said the implementation of the policy would begin this year, without giving a date.
An official said on condition of anonymity that the two-child policy was itself a relaxation of the “one-child policy” that led to forced abortions and infanticides for decades.
He said the new policy was a further relaxation of reproductive controls in the world’s most populous country, noting that
“Beijing hopes to reduce the pressure of the ageing population.
“About 90 million families may qualify for the new two-child policy.”
He said that China, the world’s most populous nation, had 1.37 billion people at the end of 2013.