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Woman Marries Uncle to Avoid China’s Family Planning Policies

Although Chinese authorities implemented the ‘two child policy’ since October 2015, news stories about the one-child policy still dominate the headlines. Chinese media reports how one woman faked a divorce to escape China’s one-child policy to have a second baby. She even married her uncle to make her wish come true.

Manya Koetse

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Although Chinese authorities implemented the ‘two child policy‘ since October 2015, news stories linked to the one-child policy still regularly make the headlines in China. Chinese media report multiple stories of people avoiding China’s family planning policies – one woman even married her uncle to have a second baby.

When China announced a relaxation of its one-child policy in October 2015, it became big news all over the world. As of January 1st of 2016, Chinese couples are allowed to have two children. But before the implementation of the so-called ‘two-child policy’, many Chinese couples were already allowed to have a second child. Those who were not, would sometimes find creative ways to avoid punishment. The story of a woman getting divorced and then marrying her uncle to have a second baby made the headlines in China today.

Although China’s one-child policy was a nationwide law (as is the so-called ‘two child policy’), every province has the right to decide the circumstances under which couples may have more children, in accordance with local social, economic, political and cultural conditions (Refworld 2000).

Before January 2016, some exceptions allowed couples to have more than one child. Some examples, as listed by Foreign Law Specialist Goitom (2011), were the following:

If their first born is disabled;
If both spouses are members of ethnic minority groups;
If both spouses are only children (so it seems that all individuals born after 1980 whose parents were forced to have only one child would be eligible to have more than one child if they marry another only child);
If a couple divorces and a person thereafter marries an individual who has no child of his or her own; or
If the couple are Chinese who have returned from an overseas country where they have legal residency.

In July 2015, a couple from Weinan, Shaanxi province, wanted to have another child so much that they filed for a ‘staged’ divorce so that the woman could have a second baby without paying a fine for it. In order to get the birth permit for the baby, she remarried her own uncle. This legally permitted her to have another child, as she was now considered a divorced woman married to an individual who had no child of his own.

When Chinese authorities announced the relaxation of China’s one-child policy, the woman, who is named ‘Xiao Hong’ by Chinanews.com, decided she no longer needed to be married to her uncle to have a second child, and filed for divorce.

Trouble started when Xiao Hong’s uncle refused to get a legal divorce before getting financially compensated first. Xiao Hong, unable or unwilling to give him money, then turned to court to make their divorce official.

Earlier this week, a court in Shaanxi ruled that a divorce was not possible, as the wedding was not lawful in the first place. In China, marriage between family members is officially not allowed, Chinanews.com reports.

Another story of a couple filing for divorce to have a second baby has also made the headlines. One couple in Chengyang, Guangxi, staged their divorce in 2013 to avoid the government fine for their second pregnancy (二胎罚款). They later got found out by the local family planning office, and still had to pay a so-called ‘social compensation fee’. After they had remarried again, the family planning office discovered that the man had made another woman pregnant during his ‘fake divorce’. After he was confronted with the fact, he ran away. He has not been back since, according to news reports, leaving his ‘two wives’ and three children behind.

Both news stories are currently being shared amongst netizens on Sina Weibo. “Peculiar policies ask for peculiar counter-measures,” one netizen responds. About the news story of the woman getting married to her uncle, one Weibo user responds: “This story line – I would give it a 9.8!”

These stories remind of another news story that came out some time ago, about a man from Anhui who had two different ID cards. He used the fake one to get married, have a baby and then file for divorce with his wife. He then used the real one to remarry her. As this Sohu news video explains, this was another creative way for this couple to have a second baby.

– By Manya Koetse

References/Sources:
* Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. 2000. “China: One-child policies’ with respect to persons who remarry.” Refworld, 4 February. http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad5218.html [3.3.16].
* Goitom, Hanibal. 2011. “China’s One Child Policy.” Library of Congress, June 27. http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2011/06/chinas-one-child-policy/ [3.3.16]

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    helsic

    March 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I would never understand why people is so desperate to have a second baby… I don’t even want to have one in the first place!

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China Food & Drinks

Tianjin Restaurant Introduces “Meal Boxes for Women”

The special lunch boxes for women were introduced after female customers had too much leftover rice.

Manya Koetse

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China’s anti food waste campaign, that was launched earlier this month, is still in full swing and noticeable on China’s social media where new iniatives to curb the problem of food loss are discussed every single day.

Today, the hashtag “Tianjin Restaurant Launches Special Female Meal Boxes” (#天津一饭店推出女版盒饭#) went trending with some 130 million views on Weibo, with many discussions on the phenomenon of gender-specific portions. The restaurant claims its special ‘female lunch boxes’ are just “more suitable for women.”

According to Tonight News Paper (今晚报), the only difference their reporter found between the “meals for women” and the regular meals, is the amount of rice served. Instead of 275 grams of rice, the ‘female edition’ of the restaurant’s meals contain 225 grams of rice.

The restaurant, located on Shuangfeng Road, decided to introduce special female lunch boxes after discovering that the female diners of the offices they serve usually leave behind much more rice than their male customers.

The restaurant now claims they expect to save approximately 10,000 kilograms of rice on an annual basis by serving their meals based on gender.

On Chinese social media, the initiative was heavily criticized. Weibo netizens wondered why the restaurant would not just offer “bigger” and “smaller” lunch boxes instead of introducing special meals based on gender.

“There are also women who like to eat more, what’s so difficult about changing your meals to ‘big’ and ‘small’ size?”, a typical comment said: “Some women eat a lot, some men don’t.”

Many people called the special meals for women sex discrimination and also wanted to know if there was a difference in price between the ‘female’ and ‘male’ lunch boxes.

There are also female commenters on Weibo who claim they can eat much more than their male colleagues. “Just give me the male version,” one female user wrote: “I’ll eat that meal instead.”

This is the second time this month that initiatives launched in relation to China’s anti food waste campaign receive online backlash.

A restaurant in Changsha triggered a storm of criticism earlier this month after placing two scales at its entrance and asking customers to to enter their measurements into an app that would then suggest menu items based on their weight. The restaurant later apologized for encouraging diners to weigh themselves.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

15-Year-Old Girl Jumps to Death in Sichuan, Kills Father Who Tried to Catch Her

The tragic incident has stirred a flood of comments on Weibo.

Manya Koetse

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After the shocking death of a 2-year-old boy went viral in China earlier today, another tragic story is again top trending on social media.

On August 22, authorities in the city of Luzhou in Sichuan stated that on Saturday morning 10:30 a 15-year-old girl jumped from the 25th floor of an apartment building.

The girl’s father, a 42-year-old man, attempted to catch his daughter and break her fall. Both father and daughter were killed in the incident.

The hashtag “Father killed while trying to catch daughter who jumped off a building” (#父亲欲接坠楼女儿被砸身亡#) received over 460 million views on Weibo on Saturday, with thousands of people discussing the tragic event.

Bystander footage of the scene shows (blurred, viewer discretion advised) how people are screaming in horror when the girl jumps to her death.

The case is currently still under investigation.

Among the flood of comments, there are many who are worried about the mother in this family and offer their condolences: “She must be in so much pain.”

Some also ponder over the terrible predicament of the girl’s father and a dad’s love for his daughter, writing things such as: “He just relied on his instincts to step forward and open his arms.”

There are also many people reflecting on the stress experienced by young people in China, school pressure being a major issue, leading to self-harm or suicide. According to a 2017 news report, suicide is the leading cause of death among young Chinese people.

“I can understand both the daughter and the father,” some say: “I can feel the pain in my heart.”

 

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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