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China to ease one-child policy

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BEIJING — China will loosen family planning rules that limit many couples to a single child in the first substantial change to the unpopular policy in nearly three decades, as leaders seek to address a rapidly aging population.

The ruling Communist Party said families in which at least one parent was an only child would be allowed to have a second child themselves. Previously, both parents had to be an only child to qualify for this exemption. Rural couples are allowed two children if their first-born child is a girl, an exemption made in 1984 that was the last substantive change to the policy.

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