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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 Local News

Children of Hubei Medical Workers to Receive 10 Extra Points on High School Enrolment Examination

Hubei officials announced a controversial measure to reward frontline medical workers.

Manya Koetse

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Image via xjdkctz.com.

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Hubei authorities announced new measures on Tuesday to encourage and support the work of Hubei’s front-line medical workers during the coronavirus crisis.

One of these measures, rewarding the children of medical staff an extra ten points in their zhongkao examination, became a somewhat controversial top trending topic on Chinese social media today.

The zhongkao is an important academic examination in China taken during the last year of junior high school, right before entering education institutions at the senior high school level. These enrollment examinations are held annually in June or July, depending on the region.

A good mark on the exam is of crucial importance for many students, as it will give them admission to their preferred senior high school, which then could have more profound effects on their education after high school and their further career.

According to the new policy, children of Hubei’s medical workers would be rewarded with ten extra points on top of their overall score for the exams if they take it. Since the exams are highly competitive, every extra point could mean a world of difference since it will mean leaving hundreds of other students behind you.

On Weibo, one announcement of the new measure published by Chinese news source The Paper received over 938.000 likes and more than 11.000 comments. Many Weibo users do not agree with the policy.

“It should be the medical workers themselves who are rewarded through promotion or a salary increase,” a top comment says: “It shouldn’t be their children who are rewarded.”

Although a majority of commenters say that medical workers should be given special rewards in these times of hardships, most also agree that rewarding their children in their exam results is not the way to go. “This only makes the exam system more unfair,” a recurring comment says.

With 610 million views at the time of writing, the hashtag “The kids of Hubei frontline medical staff will get extra 10 points on zhongkao score” (#湖北一线医务人员子女中考加10分#) is one of the most-dicussed topics on Weibo of the day.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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©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

Sudden Ground Collapse at Metro Station in Xiamen

A sudden collapse occurred near Xiamen’s Lucuo station, just two weeks after a similar incident took place in Guangzhou.

Manya Koetse

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First published

In the evening of December 12, Xiamen’s Lvcuo (Lǚcuò 吕厝) metro station became a breaking news topic in Chinese media after a ground collapse incident occurred at a nearby intersection, followed by a major flood in the Xiamen subway.

Xiamen, Fujian Province, is one of China’s major coastal cities. According to Xiamen Metro News, the collapse happened at 21:52 local time.

At time of writing, rescue teams are still investigating the scene. It is unclear if people have been trapped or injured due to the collapse.

An apparent dashcam video shared by Sina News and People’s Daily on Weibo shows the moment right before the sudden collapse.

The video captures how the road is relatively busy at the time of collapsing, and at least one car can be seen crashing into the sinkhole.

Other footage shows that the Xiamen metro line is currently flooded (also see video in this tweet).

The scene of the collapse at 0:10 local time.

The metro station where this incident occurred is relatively new. Xiamen’s metro line was first opened in late December 2017.

Just two weeks ago, another major ground collapse accident occurred at the construction site of a metro line in Guangzhou. Three people remain missing after the incident.

On Thursday night local time, the Xiamen metro collapse was the number one trending topic on social media platform Weibo. Many netizens commenting on the incident express worries about the safety of roads and construction sites in China.

Update (Dec 13): According to the latest Chinese media reports, the drivers of two cars who were at the scene at the moment of the ground collapse have both been recused. One female pedestrian who also fell into the sinkhole is receiving medical treatment..

By Manya Koetse
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©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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