Jiangsu billionaire and philanthropist Chen Guangbiao angered netizens this week by saying China’s one-child policy should be implemented in accordance with people’s level of education.
Chen made the controversial comments to the Anhui Business News  on Sunday.
He said: “People with a high-school or university education should not be restricted under the one-child policy. High-school graduates should only be allowed to have one child. People with lower education levels should be prohibited from giving birth.”
Asked by journalists whether this suggestion would violate people’s rights, Chen said uneducated children would be a burden to China.
Many internet portals re-produced Chen’s comments – sparking widespread public condemnation.
Chen later claimed journalists had misinterpreted him. “[I] hope government puts more value on people’s qualities instead of just their numbers. Regarding the right to give birth, it is a fundamental human right. Everyone is equal,” he wrote  on Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo.
Chen, chairman of the Jiangsu Huangpu Recycling Resources, is famous for public acts of philanthropy. He was seen riding a bicycle and dressed in green on Sunday. He said he wanted to encourage people to adopt an environmentally-lifestyle. Chen also said he would donate 30,000 bicycles this year.
The Chinese government has enforced the one-child policy since the late 1970s. Authorities estimate that the policy has prevented the birth of 400 million babies and helped the mainland control its population. Recently, China has debated moderating the policy to deal with the problem of a growing ageing population.