World News

China province sets huge fines for one-child rule

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese province plans to levy fines as high as eight times the violator’s annual income for breaking long-standing family planning rules that usually limit couples to one child, Xinhua news agency reported.

The provincial parliament in Hunan is discussing a draft amendment of local family planning regulations that would raise the fines after revelations this month that almost 2,000 officials and celebrities had broken the country’s family planning laws, it said on Wednesday.

“Those who had an illegitimate child would face an additional fine six to eight times the income of the previous year,” it said.

An official with the Hunan family planning commission told Xinhua: “The current penalties are too low for well-off people, and we are raising them to ensure social justice.”

At least 1,968 officials in Hunan were found to have broken China’s family planning law between 2000 and 2005, Xinhua cited the provincial family planning commission as saying on Wednesday.

Violators included 21 national and local lawmakers, 24 political advisers, 112 entrepreneurs and six senior intellectuals.

Among them was a delegate to the state parliament, the National People’s Congress, who kept four mistresses and had four children.

The move has also been adopted in the central province of Henan and the eastern province of Zhejiang.