Wealthy couples in East China's Zhejiang Province who choose to flout family
planning regulations by having two children could face fines of up to 1 million
yuan ($129,000), provincial officials said on Wednesday .
Zhang Wenbiao, director of the province's family planning commission, said at
a press conference in Hangzhou that the province would abide by the country's
family planning policy during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).
"Influential celebrities and wealthy people should set a good example by
abiding by the policy instead of violating it," said Zhang.
Zhang said people who violated the policy would have to pay a social
compensation fee that amounted to two to four times the local annual per capita
That fee could be as much as 1 million yuan ($129,000) in affluent cities
like Wenzhou and Ningbo, which have benefited from Zhejiang's status as a cradle
of private business in China.
"As for those who don't care about the heavy fines, we will name them
publicly," said the family planning official.
Public disclosure would curtail one's right to be nominated as a deputy to
the local people's congress, political consultative conference or other posts,
Zhang's remarks came in response to media reports that some wealthy couples
were choosing to pay the associated fines and have more than one child.
The government has used the family planning policy to manage the size of the
country's population since the 1970s. There are no plans to relax the policy,
said government officials last month.
Zhang also called for drastic measures to curb the number of migrant couples
who choose to have a second child after settling down.
After Guangdong, Zhejiang has the second largest migrant population in the
country, with about 3 million people from other regions.
Statistics show that 70 percent of the second children in the province were
born to migrant parents.
(China Daily 02/09/2007 page5)