HONG KONG Mainland Chinese who have a second child in Hong Kong will be fined for breaching China's one-child policy, Chinese media quoted a family planning official as saying, as mainland Chinese women flock to the former British colony to give birth.
Hong Kong's maternity wards are booked until September, pressured by the growing number of mainland Chinese seeking to circumvent the one-child policy and gain residency rights in one of the country's wealthiest cities.
China introduced its one-child policy in 1979 to limit births in the world's most populous nation, although the rules have been relaxed in recent years.
Women in several mainland cities, who gave birth to a second child in Hong Kong, have been fined on their return home, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily quoted Zheng Feng, family planning department director of Guangdong province, as saying.
It did not say how much they had been fined, although a notice on the Guangdong government website said "violators" from cities or districts would be fined up to six times the per capita disposable income of residents' hometowns.
Guangdong borders Hong Kong, which has capped the number of mainland Chinese women permitted to give birth in the city at around 34,000 this year.
Zhang said he endorsed the cap, the newspaper said.
In 2010, mainland women accounted for one third of the 88,584 newborns in Hong Kong, up from 620 babies in 2001.
The issue has prompted calls for an amendment to Hong Kong's Basic Law so that babies born to mainland women are no longer granted permanent right of abode.
(Reporting By Sisi Tang; Editing by Michael Perry)