The Chinese government is beginning to rethink its famed one-child limit as it begins to lift the restriction in five provinces with low birth rates.What the article describes are some incremental changes. The rule already allows more than one child when BOTH parents are only children, now it seems they will allow it when only ONE parent is an only child. Incremental change, but a good change nonetheless.
The pilot projects, which are set to begin in 2011, allow for a second child per family if at least one spouse is an only child. USA Today reports that Beijing, Shanghai and four other provinces will follow suit in 2012, with nationwide adoption of the new policy expected by 2013 or 2014. In 1979, China's one-child policy was introduced after decades of huge population boom followed by mass death due to resulting food shortages. The policy, which has prevented 400 million births, restricted the country's ethnic Han majority to have only one child per family (exempting most ethnic minorities) and has remained nearly the same since, though a few exceptions have been made. (Some rural farm families have been allowed to have a second child if the first is a girl.)
A wide gender imbalance, as well as the need for more children to care for parents, has likely influenced the government's tight control on the country's birthrate.
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