Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chinese Authorities Trying to Update One-Child Policy Slogans

a slogan paint in a village, which reads, "daughters are also family descendants"

Chinese authorities recently launched a campaign to purge old, crude family-planning slogans displayed in cities and villages around the country and replace them with new, friendlier ones, after executing the one-child policy for 30 years.

Netizens posted online some of these old slogans that contain harsh, even threatening languages in urging people to have only one child, such as “better having ten new tombs than having one new person,” or “those who should but did not have an abortion would have their houses demolished and cattle taken away.”

“Some slogans are out of date, not good for the work of family planning and hurting the image of the nation and its one-child policy,” Zhang Jian, an official from the National Population and Family Planning Commission told Southern Weekend.

His agency recommended 190 new slogans that are much softer in tones, such as “control population, taking care of Mother Earth,” “Too many children will make a family less affluent,” and “boys and girls are all hope of the nation.”

Mr. Zhang Jian stressed that such changes only represent the adjustment of the approach and idea of carrying out the one-child policy, instead of loosening the policy itself. Mr. Zhang described such change as more “people-oriented.”

The central government required local governments to clean up and replace old slogans by the end of September, Xinhua reported.

One-child police slogans are everywhere in China, from billboards in big cities to giant characters painted on the outer walls of people’s houses in small villages. Some netizens derided the slogan effort as useless, since nobody cares about slogans anymore. But Mr. Zhang Jian said that in rural villages, “people are still reading them,” although slogans could indeed be abandoned in cities like Beijing.

Southern Weekend interview with Mr. Zhang Jian

Other news stories about the campaign

Some online comments

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