One-child policy triggers Chinese man's machete attack

by Samantha Gobba
Posted 7/24/13, 03:47 pm

A Chinese man angry over his country’s one-child policy attacked a family planning office in the southern Guangxi region with a machete, stabbing two officials to death and injuring four.

The man, whose surname authorities have reported as He, broke China’s one-child policy by having a fourth child. He attacked after officials told him he could not obtain a resident’s certificate for the child unless he paid the fee for breaking the law.

The certificate, known as a hukou, is essential to obtain education, healthcare, and government benefits. Parents who break the law by having multiple children must pay a heavy fee for the hukou, sometimes 10 times their annual income.

China’s 30-year-old policy allows urban families to have one child and rural families two, if the first child is a girl. Officials reported He is a villager who has one son and three daughters. Officials claim He is certified mentally disabled.

It took a group of police officers in helmets wielding metal bars to detain the man, and footage of his arrest went viral on Chinese social media sites. Commenters often expressed sympathy for He and called on the government to abolish the one-child policy.

He is not the only Chinese citizen frustrated enough by officials and the policies they enforce to turn to violence. A motorcycle taxi driver detonated a bomb on Saturday in the Beijing airport. His reason: City guards attacked him eight years prior, leaving him paralyzed and in debt. Another man, aged about 60, turned to blogging when local police refused to arrange for his social security payments. Last month, he set a commuter bus on fire, killing 47 people.

China’s one-child policy has sparked similar outrage in the last year, especially as families have taken to social media to document cases of government abuse. In March, WORLD reported online outrage as graphic photos of a forced late-term abortion circulated. That same month, a woman hanged herself after two botched forced sterilization procedures. 

Last year another forced abortion caused a national outrage that moved the Chinese government to issue a public apology. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Samantha Gobba

Samantha reports on the pro-life movement for WORLD Digital.

Read more from this writer