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Protests against 'one-child' policy spread in China

Hundreds of protestors throng the local family planning office in south China to claim a refund of excess penalties levied for having more than one child.

world Updated: May 30, 2007 18:20 IST

Protests against the government's 'one-child' policy have spread to at least two more townships in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Similar incidents were reported in Bobai County from May 17 to 20.

Hundreds of people thronged the local family planning office in Yangmei township and Lingshan township of the Rongxian County on Tuesday, claiming a refund of excess penalties levied for having more than one child, a government spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Some of them even forced their way into the office, smashed furniture and set fire to government vehicles, he said, adding the protesters brandished papers claiming that the penalty for a second child had been reduced to 1,000 yuan and demanded a refund.

Local police said the protesters were incited by a small group of ringleaders from outside the county.

These ringleaders quoted a so-called 'government paper' saying the maximum penalty for having a second child was only a few thousand yuan, while locals had been forced to pay at least 10,000 yuan ($1,300), police said.

However, government officials rejected the 'government paper' submitted by the agitators as 'fake' and said penalties being levied were in line with laws, Xinhua News Agency reported.

At the same time, the report quoted the government spokesperson as saying that calm has returned to the two townships which witnessed the latest flare-ups in a series of protests against the government's family planning policy.

Meanwhile, at a meeting held on Tuesday, County government officials and Yulin city officials agreed to listen to the complaints and are working hard to resolve conflicts in the interest of social stability.