China warns to strip citizenship if second child not registered

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Beijing:  With growing instances of affluent Chinese parents flouting the one-child policy norm, the Beijing government has warned people that the second child will not be given citizenship if parents failed to register them before November 1.

Families who register their extra births (more than one child) will face only minimal fines while those who attempt to hide the births of "illegal" newborns will have to raise those children without the benefit of citizenship, Xi Kaili, a spokesperson for Beijing Municipal Commission was quoted in China Daily as saying.

The penalties will be smaller than the typical fines of the recent past, which were often eight or nine times the average annual income, Xi said.

According to Beijing Statistics Bureau, the average annual wage in the capital last year was 30,000 yuan (US $4,409). The minimum penalty for violating the policy is 90,000 yuan (US $13,227).

Last year, around 100,000 babies were born in Beijing. Officials have said the real number may be much higher because some parents have more than their single child permitted under the rules, but not reported additional births to avoid penalties.

Those unregistered children then will typically not have citizenship, the newspaper said.

Beijing is understood to be encouraging the registration of unregistered children as part of the nationwide census that is held every 10 years and is being carried out this year.

Hou Donghai, a Beijing resident from the suburban Yanqing county who was born as the second child in her family in 1986, said there seems to be fewer people these days breaking the rules.

Her family was fined 500 yuan (US $73) back in 1986 for violating the policy. The penalty since then has become much more severe.

"I have not heard of many newborns that break the family planning policy recently," the 24-year-old said.

An official of Beijing Bureau of Statistics said most of these births are attributable to largely unsupervised migrant population and the super-rich, who can afford the penalties.

"I haven't encountered an excess child in my neighbourhood for years," he said.

China has been implementing the one-child policy strictly except in Shanghai where the rule was relaxed and second child was allowed.

The policy, however, do not apply to minority population in the country.

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