Catholic World News News Feature
Rioting over family-planning drive in Chinese province May 22, 2007
An uneasy calm returned to China's Guangxi province on May 22 after 4 days of rioting over the government's draconian family-planning policy.
Violence had spread through several parts of the southwestern province, with mobs destroying government offices and vehicles, in protests against a drive to enforce China's one-child-per-family policy. Early reports indicated that at least 3 government officials were killed, along with several others.
The government's one-child policy has been in effect for years, but Beijing recently ratcheted up the effort to enforce that quota, warning regional officials that their jobs would be endangered by population growth. In Guangxi, officials had begun to levy fines on families with 2 or more children, and forcing pregnant women to undergo abortions if they already had children.
The riots in Guangxi have also called attention to deep tensions within China over the inequality between prosperous urban areas and the comparatively needy rural regions. The recent population-control intiative has been targeted particularly at the rural areas.