China's one-child policy was introduced in 1979 as the country began its process of reform and opening up. Its aim was to curb population growth and help boost economic growth.
Official implementation began in 1980, and fines were imposed on those who flouted the rule. The policy proved effective in population control but became controversial due to cases of forced abortion and infanticide.
From the mid- 1980s, the policy was gradually relaxed, with the authorities allowing two children for families in rural areas, or for households where both parents were the only child. In 2013, this was broadened to allow couples to have two children if either parent was an only child.
Last Thursday, amid concerns over its ageing population and gender imbalance, China announced the end of the policy.
This article was first published on November 1, 2015.
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