Officials who broke birth law fired

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 January, 2008, 12:00am

More than 100 officials in Guangxi's Bobai county, where residents rioted for days in May against brutal enforcement of the one-child policy, have been sacked for breaching the regulation themselves, Xinhua reported yesterday.

The county authorities launched an inspection last year and found 104 officials had violated the rules since 2000, the report said.

Bobai, the most populous county in Guangxi, has seen its population more than double in the past 60 years. Its party secretary and the head of its family planning department were sacked in February for failing to control the population growth and curb widespread illegal births.

Illegal births, including in officials' families, were common in the area as people believed 'more children would bring more happiness'.

The rapid increase in population resulted in a dramatic reduction in the amount of farm land per capita and other social problems, including a gender imbalance, Xinhua said.

'Cadres who violated the one-child policy have set very bad examples for ordinary people. Their behaviour makes it much more difficult to implement birth control policies,' said Li Guang , deputy head of the Guangxi Population and Family Planning Commission.

Bobai was brought to international attention in May after large riots broke out in several towns. The unrest was triggered by hefty fines imposed by local authorities on people who breached the one-child policy.

Thousands of villagers rioted in several towns between May 17 and 20. In Shapi town, a mob stormed the government office, looting furniture and torching an official vehicle.

The mainland has been enforcing a stringent one-child policy since 1979, with National Population and Family Planning Commission head Zhang Weiqing crediting it with reducing the nation's population by 400 million. The national birth rate fell 0.73 per cent between 2001 and 2005, but Guangxi's rose 0.33 per cent.

Cadres who violated the one-child policy have set very bad examples for ordinary people

Li Guang, of the Guangxi Population and Family Planning Commission


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