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Hubei Punishes Hundreds for Violating Family Planning Policy

The Hubei Province, in central China, has expelled 500 people from the Communist Party of China for defying the "one-child" family planning policy.

Last year, the province found 93,084 people had additional children in violation of the policy, including 1,678 officials or Party members, according to the provincial family planning commission.

Also identified by the panel were seven national and local lawmakers or political advisors. They lost their political status. Another 395 offenders were dismissed from their posts.

"More party members, celebrities, and well-off people are violating the policies in recent years, which has undermined social equality," said Yang Youwang, director of the commission.

He said a number of cases involving celebrities or officials were still being investigated and the individuals would be identified once their situation was verified.

Hubei Province has approved a regulation to shore up family planning efforts. Under this rule, offenders are barred from government employment for three years and cannot hold elective office or be political advisors.

Separately, a ranking official in Tongnan County in western Chongqing Municipality was sacked after he was found to have a second child, aged 12. Ran Changjiang, an official with the local quality supervision bureau, had a second son in 1995 but didn't include the child in his household registration until 2005.

China's family planning policy was enacted in the late 1970s to limit families to one child and encourage late marriages and childbearing. The policy was codified as the Population and Family Planning Law, which came into effect in September 2002.

A survey by the national family planning commission has found that the majority of wealthy or well-known people had two children and 10 percent had three.

(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2008)

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