More than 60 percent of Chinese netizens think it is
unfair for rich and famous people to have more children than family
planning policies allow, a newly released survey found.
The online survey of 7,917 internet surfers,
co-conducted by China Youth
Daily and www.qq.com, showed that 68 percent of respondents
said extra children for rich or famous people was a major
The well-off don't care about the cost of an unplanned
birth, they said. Some of them submit forged documents saying their
first child suffered from a congenital disease, others "buy" the
birth permit for a second child to make the unplanned birth
The survey showed that 61 percent of respondents
consider this unfair. "How can they violate the national policy
just because they have more money?" an anonymous respondent
Half the respondents said childbearing rights should
be the same for everybody.
Zhang Weiqing, director of the National Population and
Family Planning Commission, said last year that to maintain the
current low birth rate, the family planning policy must not
"The rich and famous have no privileges in relation to
unplanned births," Zhang said.
China has maintained a
"one-child" family planning policy since early 1970s. The one-child
policy has helped reduce the country's population by more than 300
million and postponed the arrival of the 1.3-billion population
mark by four years, officials said last year.
Zhai Zhenwu, professor with the Population and
Development Studies Center in Renmin University of China, said the
phenomenon of unplanned births among the rich reflects imperfect
family planning regulations and systems.
"Fining the violators is a way of trying to control
the birth rate. But if the rich are not deterred by fines, no other
methods exist to prevent them from having more children," Zhai
He said unplanned births among rich people would not
affect population control because they represent a small proportion
of society. However, the phenomenon could impact social equality
and exacerbate social conflicts caused by the widening gap between
rich and poor.
China's population, which
hit 1.3 billion in 2005, is expected to expand by eight to 10
million annually in years to come.
(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2007)