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Nouveaux riches challenge one-child policy
Updated: 2005-12-14 16:33

Traditional Chinese values say the greater the number of offspring brings greater happiness for a family. These values still run deep among wealthy merchants and entrepreneurs in China's economically dynamic regions.

"I already have three children and if I had three more children I'm financially capable of raising them all. I can ensure them the best education," Yu proclaimed with self confidence and contentment.

According to a survey by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), conducted by the China Youth Daily, nearly 40 percent of the respondents said they wanted to have a second child.

"Although many people cherish the dream of having more than one child, only a handful of the new rich can make the dream come true. How will this inequity affect working families psychologically?" asked Zhang Yi, a researcher with the CASS Research Institute of Population and Labor Economy.

Zhang believes the current social maintenance fee has become a passport for the wealthy to have more children and suggests the fee should be levied as a proportion of a family's actual income.

This view was echoed by Professor Zhang Fonggan with the Population Research Institute under Zhongshan University based in Guangzhou, capital Guangdong Province.

Zhang said that publicity of the current family planning policy need to be improved and that fines for breaking the law should be increased.

With about 1.3 billion people China is the most populous country in the world. Projections show its population will reach 1.33 billion by the end of 2005 and 1.6 billion in 2050.

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