As many as 1,968 officials in central China's Hunan Province have been found
breaching the nation's one-child policy between 2000 and 2005, the provincial
family planning commission said Friday.
Also exposed by the commission are 21 national and local lawmakers, 24
political advisors, 112 entrepreneurs and six senior intellectuals.
A national lawmaker identified by his surname as Li, were keeping four
mistresses, with whom he had four children, a spokesman of the commission said.
Some officials who have had more than one child but had gone their way
unnoticed during their tenure of leadership were exposed when they were
investigated for corruption, he said.
"Three officials -- vice head of Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture of
Xiangxi with the surname as Peng, vice mayor of Loudi City surnamed as Zhao, and
vice mayor of Chenzhou City with the surname of Lei, who were all found to have
kept extramarital mistresses, -- were all convicted for charges such as
embezzlement and taking bribes, but they were not punished for having more than
child," said the spokesman.
To curb population growth, China's family planning policy was enacted in the
late 1970s to encourage late marriages and late childbearing, and it limited
most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two.
The policy is credited with preventing more than 400 million births since it
In Hunan, officials estimate 30 million births have been prevented due to the
policy. As the 7th most populous province in China, the Hunan provincial
government has vowed to keep its population within 70.1 million by 2010.
The policy was upgraded to the Population and Family Planning Law in December
2001 at the 25th session of the Ninth National People's Congress, the country's
top legislature, and the law came into effect in September 2002.
However, there have been increasing reports of officials, tycoons and
entertainment stars having more than one child over recent years, causing grave
"The fact that some localities which dare not give penalties in case of
violating one-child policy or choose to deal with such cases leniently should be
one of the main reasons for the trend," the Hunan commission spokesman said.
The Hunan provincial governor, Zhou Qiang, had in April ordered local
authorities to "expose the celebrities and high-income people who violate the
family planning policy and have more than one child."
The move has also been adopted in east China's Zhejiang Province, and in
central China's Henan Province, the nation's most populous region,officials
belonging to the Communist Party of China will be barred from promotion if they
have more children than the law allows.
Meanwhile, Hunan and Zhejiang have greatly raised the fines imposed on
violators of the one-child policy. In some cases, the fine could be as high as
over one million yuan (130,000 U.S. dollars).
But heavy fines and exposures seemed to hardly stop the celebrities and rich
people, as there are still many people, who can afford the heavy penalties,
insist on having multiple kids, the Hunan commission spokesman said.
It is a problem yet to be resolved in China, and population experts have also
proposed imposing moral denouncement on those people and enhance supervision by