Obviously China's motives are pragmatic and not moralistic or even humanitarian, but this move would be encouraging to those of us who ache at the thought of forced abortions and abandoned baby girls:
BEIJING (Reuters) - China, worried about an ageing population, is studying scrapping its controversial one-child policy but will not do away with family-planning policies altogether, a senior official said on Thursday.
With the world's biggest population straining scarce land, water and energy resources, China has enforced rules to restrict family size since the 1970s. Rules vary but usually limit families to one child, or two in the countryside.
"We want incrementally to have this change," Vice Minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission Zhao Baige told reporters in Beijing.
"I cannot answer at what time or how, but this has become a big issue among decision makers," Zhao added. "The attitude is to do the studies, to consider it responsibly and to set it up systematically."
And how's this for double-minded?
China says its policies have prevented several hundred million births and boosted prosperity, but experts have warned of a looming social time-bomb from an ageing population and widening gender disparity stemming from a traditional preference for boys.
Still, the government has previously expressed concern that too many people are flouting the rules.
So please, folks, keep killing those little ones until we get this demographic thing sorted out. We'll let you know when.