Chinese mother and childChina’s unjust and inhumane population laws, which do not stop short of forced abortions, have driven a mother to procure the murder of her nine-year-old son, so that she could have a baby with her new husband. After Li Yingfang’s first husband died, she gave custody of her son to the boy’s grandmother. Under the one child policy, people who remarry may have a second child if their new spouse is childless, but Li’s new husband had a daughter from his own first marriage, preventing the couple from having a child together legally.

Li initially paid Wang Ruijie a large sum to kill her stepdaughter. But after the girl resisted and escaped, Li took her own son to a meeting with Wang, who strangled the boy and left his body by a rural road. A lower court imposed a suspended death sentence on Li because she had suffered from depression after having two abortions because of the population laws. But a higher people’s court ordered her execution after ruling that her depression was not directly related to her crime. Wang was given a suspended death sentence, and both were ordered to pay compensation to the bereaved grandmother. The sentences were handed down last week.

The case came as China’s official media hinted that the government may be discussing reform of its population policy. Jiang Fan, vice-minister of the National Family Planning Commission, acknowledged research showing that most women would like to have “two or more” babies. One survey showed 83 per cent of women wanted a son and a daughter. “Some mothers think only-children suffer from loneliness and can become spoiled,” Jiang told China Daily. He also acknowledged that the gender gap among newborns was a “very grave” problem; the ratio remains above 103-107 boys to every 100 girls. ~ Guardian (UK), Jan 16


Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet