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China seeks kinder one-child slogans

Rural residents especially were angered by the insensitive state line.

Published August 6, 2007


BEIJING - China has banned crude and insensitive slogans promoting the country's one- child family planning policy, such as "Raise fewer babies but more piggies," which have stoked anger in rural areas, state media said Sunday.

China's 28-year-old family planning policy limits most urban couples to just one child and allows some families in the countryside to have a second child if their first is a girl.

Critics say that has led to forced abortions and sterilizations and a dangerously imbalanced sex ratio due to the traditional preference for male heirs, which has prompted countless families to abort female fetuses.

The policy continues to engender anger and resentment, especially among farmers because of the sometimes brutal methods used to enforce it, such as heavy fines and the seizure of property. Local authorities themselves face demotions, criticism or the loss of jobs if they fail to hit population targets.

The National Population and Family Planning Commission said it was striking insensitive slogans promoting the policy in order to dispel the impression the government was "simply forcing people to give up having more babies, causing misunderstanding (of) the policy and even tarnishing the image of the government," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The planning commission issued a list of 190 acceptable slogans, such as "Mother earth is too tired to sustain more children" and "Both boys and girls are parents' hearts."

The government contends the one-child policy has helped prevent at least 300-million births - about the size of the U.S. population - and aided China's rapid economic development.

Fast Facts:

Banned slogans

Among the slogans that were forbidden were:

-"One more baby means one more tomb."

-"Houses toppled, cows confiscated, if abortion demand rejected."

-"Raise fewer babies but more piggies."

[Last modified August 6, 2007, 01:42:20]

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