CPC makes policies based on China's realities

Updated: 2007-10-10 21:59

BEIJING -- A private business owner surnamed Bao recently paid a fine of 1.01 million yuan (US$134,667) in Yueqing City, east China's Zhejiang Province, for having a second child.

China introduced the family planning policy in the late 1970s, encouraging urban couples to have one child while allowing a second child in rural areas if the first is a female.

The family planning policy aims to address the difficult situation China is in: a huge population of 1.3 billion and shortage of resources and energy. Analysts estimate China can support only 1.6 billion people with its own grain production.

This is just one of the many Chinese characteristics facing the top decision makers.

Although China has become the world's fourth largest economy thanks to decades of fast growth, it still ranked well below the 100th in terms of per-capita GDP.

Qiu Guiming, a 36-year-old farmer in Qiucun Village, Jidong Town of Shaoxing County in Zhejiang, has six brothers and sisters who were born in the 1960s and early 1970s, when there was no family planning policy.

"It was difficult for us to get enough to eat and in the hardest times, the whole family had only one set of presentable clothing," Qiu recalled.

Qiu's first baby was a female. As a farmer, he was allowed to have a second child. Last year he had a son.

"There's no problem for us to support two children, as our living conditions have improved. But more children will throw us back into poverty,"he said.

His 33-year-old brother, Qiu Guiyun, has chosen to have only one: a girl. "Now we live a better life, but to support a child is still not easy. Education costs alone are high."

China believes family planning is an effective way to reduce poverty. Some UN officials regarded the policy as a great contribution to the global poverty relief efforts.

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