Hundreds of people in a central China province have been expelled from the Communist party or fired from their government posts for violating the nation’s “one-child” policy, according to Agence France Presse.
“More party members, celebrities and well-off people are violating the policies… which has undermined social equality,” commission director Yang Youwang was quoted as saying.
The violators included 1,678 party officials or members. 500 were expelled from the party and 395 stripped of their posts. The officials were reportedly fined as well.
More than 90,000 other people in the province violated the “one-child” policy last year.
The population control program began in the late 1970s to limit the growth of China’s population, which now numbers 1.3 billion. Its enforcement has at times been brutal, involving forced late-term abortions and coercive sterilization of women. According to the Chinese government, more than 400 million births have been averted due to the policy.
Under the birth restrictions, urban families are typically allowed to have one child while rural families may have two if the firstborn is a girl. In recent years the policy has been ignored in rural areas, while newly rich city residents can afford the fines for law violations.
Last year several areas of the poor southern province of Guangxi suffered riots after an official crackdown on policy violators enraged some residents.