China's richest and most populous province wants to relax the law that restricts families to one child, amid fears of a demographic timebomb.
The one-child policy has been in effect for 30 years.
But officials in Guangdong, south-east China, are concerned about a rapidly ageing population that may lack an adequately sized younger generation to support it.
Zhang Feng, head of Guangdong's population commission, told the Southern Metropolis News: 'The increase in population is still a big problem affecting our social and economic development. But, in the long-term, ageing will also be a problem.
'I believe the government can relax the policy through pilot projects in certain provinces and cities.
'The province ... is now waiting for approval to be the leader in the country in the relaxation of the family-planning policy.
Zhang added: 'I don't know whether the central government will give the green light to Guangdong or not, or when Guangdong's application will be approved, but the province now has room to relax the one-child policy, which has been in place for more than three decades.'
He said the cost of raising children had risen steeply meaning that easing the policy would not lead to a baby boom.
He added that Guangdong, which has a population of 104 million, would not actively encourage couples to have a second child.