01/04/2013, 00.00
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One child policy leads to baby selling

by Chen Weijun
The case of a family planning official has shaken the country. She sold at least four infants, who were then resold for more money. The law that killed 200 million Chinese must be repealed.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - One consequence of China's 'One Child' policy is baby selling. A family planning official in Fujian province has been found involved in such business. She sold a baby to a couple who then resold the infant. After that, the boy exchanged hands twice more before local police intervened. The story was even carried in the China Youth Daily, which is close to the Communist Party.

Under the 1979 'one child' policy, urban couples can have only one child, rural couples can have two.  Anyone breaking the quotas could be heavily fined; in some cases, they can face forced abortions at any stage of the pregnancy.

Wang Yiping is the head of a village family planning committee in Fujian's Anxi County. Police suspect the mother of four of participating in the illegal sale of four babies.

According to media reports, she bought a baby for 50,000 yuan (US$ 8,000) from a trafficker, and resold the child to a woman who ran a motorcycle shop for 52,000 yuan, who then re-sold him to a couple in Anxi Country for 60,000, who then sold him again to a woman identified only by her last name Zhang, for 62,800 yuan.

Zhang told police that her 19-year-old son has serious haemangioma, a tumour that affects blood vessels, and that she wanted to have another child, but could not give birth after receiving a ligation operation, a common practice in China after a first child. So she decided to buy one.

For many aging Chinese, old age is a major concern. Without children or with a disabled child, Chinese senior citizens could end up destitute.

However, human trafficking remains a major social problem that the Communist party appears to be unable to tackle.

The latest case highlights the aberrations of the 'one child' policy, which Deng Xiaoping imposed in order to control China's population, for it favours illegal activities that have become a social scandal.

The government is aware of the various drawbacks associated with the policy, like an aging population that cannot be maintained in retirement as well as forced singlehood, especially for men over 30.

Indeed, the law failed to take into account Chinese tradition, which has always favoured males who inherit the family name and history, can earn more than women and do not require a dowry (as women do).

This has resulted in selective abortions that have penalised women. Some NGOs estimate that some 200 million foetuses have been sacrificed since the policy was implemented.

Recently, various figures and organisations even within China's top leadership have raised doubts about the policy's wisdom, calling for its review and even repeal.

The China Development Research Foundation is one of them. In a recent statement, it has called for the policy to be dropped altogether. However, for now the official policy stands.

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