News broke last week that China will test-drive a new policy in five provinces permitting more couples to have two children. Professor Valerie Hudson, co-author of the 2004 book "Bare Branches: Security Implications of Asian Surplus Male Population," believes this development represents the beginning of the end for a one-child policy that has at times been brutally enforced via unsavory measures such as abortion, sterilization and infanticide.
"They're just starting (the new policy) in five provinces, but they want to go countrywide by 2014," she said. "I believe on the basis of interviews that I conducted in Beijing last year that it will be broadened and that at some point well within the next decade, it will be possible for all Chinese couples to have two children.
"I think China will be moving to a de facto two-child policy over time."