South China province seeks looser family planning rules

BEIJING - China's most populous province is trying to ease the country's decades old "one-child" policy, with officials saying the high cost of raising children is enough to hold down birthrates.
The southern export hub of Guangdong has applied to the central government to allow qualified couples to have two children if either the husband or the wife is an only child, the official English-language China Daily newspaper said on Wednesday.
"The province ... is now waiting for approval to be the leader in the country in the relaxation of the family-planning policy," said Zhang Feng, director of the Guangdong population and family-planning commission.
After decades of rapid economic growth in the world's most populous nation, many of China's newly affluent are putting pressure on officials to ease away from restrictions that have been in place since the early 1980s. The Guangdong case could set a pattern for other regions.