Friday, April 20, 2012

Chinese Olympian under fire for second child

Diving gold medalist Tian Liang is being investigated by authorities for alleged violation of the one-child policy by arranging the birth of his second child in Hong Kong.

Tian 32, a gold medalist from the Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) Olympic games retired from diving in 2007 and became an actor.

In 2008, Tian welcomed his firstborn, and earlier this year his second child was born in Hong Kong. Since the arrival of his second child Tian has faced accusations of violating the nation’s one-child policy.

China introduced the one-child policy in the late 1970’s to control the fast growth of its population. Since then, authorities have made exceptions, allowing eligible couples to have a second child.

Opinion has been divided over Tian's situation.

Shaanxi Administration of Sport stated that Tian had not violated the one-child policy since his son was born in Hong Kong.

Ma Li, director of the China Population and Development Research Center, however, confirmed with the Global Times that "no matter where their house registration is located, Tian and his wife broke the law."

According to NPFPC's hotline for public inquiries on the one-child policy, a couple who are not eligible for a second child are considered to have violated the policy even if their second child was born outside the mainland.

The hotline said the couple will be fined if they bring the child back to the mainland. The fine would be between two and six times the couple's total income of the previous year, and any future fines would triple for every additional child. That is a harsh penalty.

Tian and his family have remained silent since the news broke.

Du Peng, a professor with the Population Research Institute of Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that he expects the policy to be loosened little by little to deal with the country's growing aging population and decreasing birth rate.

"First, families with either the mother or father being the only child can have two children. Then gradually, all families will be permitted to have two children," Du said.

What do you think about this? What about the harsh penalty that applies to couples that have more than one children?

Reference: Global Times

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