Eleven government officials in southern China have been penalised for permitting a couple to have 15 children over the course of two decades.
The Guangxi government claimed in a statement on Sunday that Liang Er, 77, and Lu Honglan, 47, from a poor village in Rongxian county, Guangxi autonomous region, had four boys and 11 girls between 1995 and 2016 as a result of the local government’s inefficient family planning. According to the statement, the couple is not formally recognized as husband and wife, but they have lived together and had children by common consent.
It is notable that China permitted each family to have just one kid during that phase which was later increased to two. It has thus far increased the maximum to three in response to a declining birth rate.
The Liang family rose to prominence as early as 2016 due to their unusually large number of children and the hardship they faced as a result, sparking a new wave of outrage.
One child policy in China
The Chinese government launched the one-child policy countrywide in 1980 in order to limit most Chinese families to one child apiece. The strategy was intended to fix China’s population growth rate, which the government deemed unmanageable. China formally abandoned its one-child policy in January 2016 in favour of a two-child policy.
Following the confirmation by China’s 2020 census that Chinese women gave birth to just 12 million children in 2020, down from 14.65 million in 2019, Beijing declared at the end of May 2021 that each couple would be allowed to have three children.
Other restrictions aimed at discouraging individuals from having children have also been gradually repealed. Officials from five provinces – Guangdong, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Hainan, and Fujian – were ordered in October 2017 to amend policies that allowed corporations to terminate employees who had more children.