Friday, June 01, 2007

At the Root of the Guangxi Riots

China riots rooted in child policy, financial woes
BOBAI, China (Reuters) - Guan Yonglin has six children from two marriages, which, no matter how you look at it, violates China's long standing one-child policy. And he knows it.

That's why he paid a 2,000 yuan ($260) fine three years ago to his township government here in the gentle hills of the southern region of Guangxi.

Then this month, local officials delivered a terse one-page notice: for having five more children than the law permits, Guan owed the equivalent of more than $15,500 in fines.

"I already cleared this up by paying 2,000," he said. "I told them, 'This government of yours now wants 120,000 from me. Where am I supposed to get it?"'

Not surprisingly, he couldn't pay what amounted to about 45 times the region's rural annual per-capita income, so the Shuangwang township government seized the assets of the 53-year-old farmer-turned-construction contractor.


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