China to relax one-child rule?

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…

“In the past, we only focused on slowing population growth,” says Peng Xizhe, a professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University. “It’s much more complicated than we earlier thought.”…

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, says Siu Yat-ming, who researches Chinese family planning at Hong Kong Baptist University. Cindy Zhao, who is eight months pregnant with her second child, can’t wait. “I will be punished, but we can afford it,” says Zhao of the likely $30,000 fine for her illegal birth.