BEIJING, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- China will loosen its decades-long one-child population policy, allowing couples to have two children if one of them is an only child, according to a key decision issued on Friday by the Communist Party of China (CPC).
China will implement this new policy while adhering to the basic state policy of family planning, according to the decision on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms, which was approved at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held from Nov. 9 to 12 in Beijing.
The birth policy will be adjusted and improved step by step to promote "long-term balanced development of the population in China," it said.
Relaxing the policy will keep China's birth rate at a stable level, said Guo Zhenwei, a family-planning official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
To ensure coordinated economic and social development, the population size for China should be kept at about 1.5 billion, said Guo, citing the results of a study sponsored by the State Council, China's cabinet.
China should keep its total fertility rate at around 1.8, and the current rate is between 1.5 to 1.6, allowing the country to maneuver its population policy, according to Guo.
Wu Cangping, an adviser with the China Population Association, believed the change in China's family planning policy will unlikely lead to a baby boom because of Chinese parents' traditional preference for more children has changed due to rapid social progress in the country.