China officially further relaxed its family planning policy, allowing couples to give birth to three children. The move aims to improve China's population structure and actively respond to the country's aging problem.
The change was approved during a politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping, the official news agency Xinhua reported.
In 2016, China scrapped its decades-old one-child policy - initially imposed to halt a population explosion - with a two-child limit, which failed to result in a sustained surge in births as the high cost of raising children in Chinese cities deterred many couples from starting families.
"To further optimise the birth policy, (China) will implement a one-married-couple-can-have-three-children policy," Xinhua said in a report on the meeting.
The policy change will come with "supportive measures, which will be conducive to improving our country's population structure, fulfilling the country's strategy of actively coping with an ageing population and maintaining the advantage, endowment of human resources", Xinhua said.
It did not specify the support measures.
The announcement drew a chilly response on Chinese social media, where many people said they could not afford to have even one or two children.