BEIJING (AP) — China will loosen its decades-old one-child policy by allowing two children for families with one parent who was an only child and will abolish a much-criticized labor camp system, its ruling Communist Party said today.

The changes were part of a key policy document released by the official Xinhua News Agency following a four-day meeting of party leaders through Tuesday in Beijing. The document also seeks to map out China’s economic policy for coming years.

The labor camp — or “reeducation through labor” — system was established to punish early critics of the Communist Party but now is used by local officials to deal with people challenging their authority on issues including land rights and corruption.

China’s family-planning policy currently limits most urban couples to one child and allows two children for rural families if their firstborn is a girl. It also allows two children for parents who themselves are both singletons.

The new policy will allow two children for families where only one parent was an only child.



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