03/30/2007, 00.00
CHINA
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Party officials’ careers in jeopardy if they have more than one child

Communist Party officials in Henan have called for orthodox observance of government family planning policies. They warn that party officials who violate the ‘one-child’ policy will not be promoted. However, 30 years of forced population controls have had serious repercussions on Chinese society.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In populous Henan province, Communist Party (CPC) officials will be barred from promotion if they have more children than the law allows, state-own Xinhua news agency reported.

Officials have been warned that a low birth rate remains party policy. Any CPC official in Henan who violates state family planning law would be punished according to party disciplinary codes or government regulations, said Xu Guangchun, secretary of the CPC Henan Provincial Committee.

Henan’s population now stands at around 97 million, more than Germany’s. Provincial officials want to keep it within 101 million by 2010 and 107 million by 2020.

China's family planning policy was enacted in 1979 to encourage late marriages and late childbearing, and it limited most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two. However, urban couples in some provinces can have a second child if both parents are only children.

The policy’s goal was to curb population growth and protect the country’s natural resources.

At present, China’s population is around 1.3 billion. The authorities want it to be less than 1.36 by 2010.

However, the one-child policy has also meant that the population is rapidly aging and imbalanced since selective feticide (and infanticide) has been practiced on females.

Moreover, violators have generally been punished with fines. This has allowed richer couples to get around the law.

Despite criticism Chinese authorities have not shown any inclining to change the policy.

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