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China May Ease One Child Policy

05/08/2013 11:15 BST | Updated 05/10/2013 10:12 BST

Chinese authorities are reportedly examining proposals to lift the ban on a second baby, should either parent be an only child.

If implemented, the move could see an extra 9.5 million births every year, Forbes China reports.

The baby boom would be a means of addressing the financial effects of an aging society, as well as potential workforce shortages.

china baby

China's one child policy was introduced in 1979

"Our commission is organising research on the size, quality, structure and distribution of the population so that we can propose plans to improve the [one-child] policy," Mao Qun'an, director of the propaganda office at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told Xinhua news agency.

More than half of Chinese parents said they wanted to have a second child, a recent poll by the Southern Metropolis Daily revealed.

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The new rules are expected to come into force early next year and could be extended to cover all families by 2015, the Telegraph reports.

China brought in a one child policy as a means of slowing the birth rate in 1979. It restricts married, urban couples to having one child, with exemptions allowed for rural couples, ethnic minorities and parents without siblings.