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The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) adopted a resolution to abolish reeducation through labor, commonly known as “laojiao“, through a vote at its bi-monthly session Saturday.
China’s new leadership had earlier announced the reform of this controversial system which allows police to detain people for up to four years without an open trial.
The top body also passed a resolution on adjusting China’s family planning policy.
The resolution now entrusts provincial congresses and their standing committees to implement the new policy.
“They should amend local family planning regulations, or issue a special act, in time, based on evaluation of local demographic situation and in line with the law on population and family planning as well as this resolution,” the document said.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) decided to ease the only-child policy at the landmark third plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee.
China’s “family planning policy” restricts most urban couples to one child, and rural couples to two.
Since China introduced the family planning policy in the late 1970s, it’s estimated to have prevented adding 400 million people (more than the entire US populace) to the current Chinese population.
China’s birth rate in 2012 dropped to 12 per thousand from the 33 per thousand in 1970. As a result the population growth rate has declined to one-fifth of what it was in 1970, and only half of the world average.