China may relax its one-child rule

USA Today reports:

An aging population and the need for more workers have prompted China's Communist Party to consider relaxing the decades-long ban that restricts most couples to one child, a harsh policy marked by forced abortions, sterilizations and fines for those who have more than one.

In 2011, China will start pilot projects in five provinces, all of which have low birth rates, to allow a second birth if at least one spouse is an only child, says He Yafu, an independent demographer who is in close contact with policymakers.

Beijing, Shanghai, and four other provinces will follow suit in 2012, with nationwide implementation by 2013 or 2014, he says.

...The need for more children to care for parents, plus a gender imbalance that will leave tens of millions of men without wives, are two arguments for a relaxation of the one-child policy...

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