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So far, none of the Chinese leadership team has taken up “Comrade Locke‘s” undeclared challenge.


The Chinese government amassed an estimated $20 billion from “extra-birth fines” levied against parents of the estimated 13 million children whose births are considered illegal under China’s draconian one-child policy, according to a rare report published last week in the latest edition of Chinese Economy Weekly.

According to a statement from the State Family Planning Commission that was obtained by the magazine, the state-mandated fine for having a second child is so severe that almost no one can afford it.

“Our government calculates the basic disposable income for an urban resident is 26,738 yuan [$4,244]. The fine for having a second child will be nine times of that, i.e. 240,642 yuan [$38,197],” the official statement says.

In other words, one person in violation of China’s one-child policy would have to forfeit all of his disposable for nine years just to pay the fine.

Miles Yu’s columns appear Thursdays. He can be reached at