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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 July 2007, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
China officials break child rule
By Chris Xia
BBC News

A Chinese couple who had quintuplets - archive picture
Couples are only supposed to have one child
Authorities in the Chinese province of Hunan say that nearly 2,000 officials broke the ban on having more than one child, in the years 2000-2005.

The Chinese government announced earlier this year that fines for breaking the one-child law were to be increased for the rich and the famous.

They have apparently been brazenly flouting the rules, because they are able to pay the financial penalties.

The authorities are aware that for ordinary people this is galling.

They are forced to comply with the law, and this fuels anger at the growing levels of privilege for the select few in modern China.

Now the revelation that so many officials in Hunan have been breaking the rules is likely to heighten resentment against the all-powerful Communist Party.

Some of the breaches of the one-child policy only came to light during corruption investigations.

One legislator had four children by four different mistresses.

The official Xinhua news agency said some officials had not been adequately punished for their birth-control crimes.

It argued that this failure to enforce the law within its own ranks had led to the decrease in the government's ability to enforce its birth-control policy.


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