Chinese Professor openly defies one-child policy
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 15:03
Beijing: A Professor in China has become the cynosure of all eyes after he openly defied the government's one-child norm and refused to pay fine for violating the law, as a defiant protest against the three-decade old policy that he calls a violation of his rights as a citizen.

Yang Zhizhu, 43 who lost his job at Beijing Youth Political College, is the current toast not only for the foreign media but also in the state controlled domestic media.

"Why should I pay money for having my own kid? It's not human trafficking. It's our right as citizens," he said, adding the fine of about USD 29,200 for having a second child is 10 times higher the price of a baby sold by traffickers.

The China Daily today featured him with his two daughters defiantly holding out that he would not pay the hefty fine, come what may because he considered the one-child policy as ridiculous.

"There's no need for birth control in China, because the birth rate is already quite low in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, and China is an aging country," he said.

Besides the fine, the price one may have to pay for having second child could be heavy as rules stipulate that those working in government bodies and state owned companies should be punished by their employers.

They are not entitled for any maternity leave and are likely to have their salaries frozen for an year.

In the rural areas people with more than one child have to forego social benefits and government employees are fired.

Yang's wife, Chen Hong, 39, gave birth to their second daughter Yang Ruonan, on December 21, 2009 and he was fired from his job on April 9 after he refused to pay a fine in accordance with the new guidelines.

Yang says his sacking is unjustified and his case has drawn a lot of media attention in the past two weeks.

Some are calling Yang's case the most prolific protest since the country adopted the norm in the late 1970s.

"Since my story was reported earlier this month, I've only taken one short break, last Saturday. It seems I've already became a model protestor against the current family planning policy," he said.

The media reports have helped Yang win tens of thousands of hearts across the country. In a survey carried out by a prominent Chinese website, 75,331 people (91 per cent of respondents) supported him.

The fact that Yang's case has been highlighted in the official media is significant, given that two months ago Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in his work report in the National Peoples Congress, (NPC) categorically ruled out revision of the policy.


First Published: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 15:03

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