Beijing professor battles one-child familiy planning policy

08:48, January 14, 2011      

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A Beijing law professor, who was fined for contravening the one-child policy by having a second child, is suing local family planning authorities in an attempt to promote the need to have the policy revised, if not scrapped altogether.

Yang Zhizhu and his second child

Yang Zhizhu, 44, an assistant professor at China Youth University for Political Sciences, was suspended from his teaching position in April 2010 after it was discovered his wife had given birth to a second child in December 2009.

In September, the Haidian District population and family planning commission fined him 240,642 yuan ($36,300) for "illegally having a second child."

Consequently, his second child is unable to obtain a hukou (household registration).

"Without a hukou, she is not entitled to go to school, find a job or get married," Yang claimed.

Deciding to fight against the ruling, Yang countered by suing the commission on December 1, with the trial opening Tuesday at a local court in Haidian.

"I don't deserve such a harsh punishment. I do not think I will win the lawsuit, but I want my case to raise public awareness, and hope to eventually prompt legislators to change or revoke birth-control regulations. There are a lot of loopholes," Yang, insisted, telling the Global Times Thursday.

However, Yang himself had ruled out the possibility the family-planning policy could be cancelled as "it goes against China's conditions."

A possible solution for the current contradiction is to loosen the rein on how many babies a family can have, he said.

The national family planning policy varies in places. Residents in rural and remote areas may have a second child if the first child is a daughter.

In Beijing, a second child is acceptable if both parents are single children themselves or if the first child is born disabled.

Yang has two siblings and his wife was also born into a big family with a brother and two sisters, meaning that he was not entitled to have more than one child.

One-child policy violators face fines that are based on net income or disposable income per capita.

By Huang Jingjing, Global Times
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