, China Daily carried a story about Chinese tax resister Yang Zhizhu. In protest against China’s “one child policy” Yang and his wife have refused to pay the fine assessed on them for illegally having a second child. Excerpts:
Law professor won’t stop at one
Yang Zhizhu taught law at the Beijing Youth Politics College until he was fired . The school says the law professor defiantly challenged China’s one-child policy by having a second child and refusing to pay the resulting fine. But Yang, 43, says his firing is unjustified and that he is taking a stand against an unfair 30-year-old family planning policy.
Yang’s case has drawn a lot of media attention and in the past two weeks Yang has given interviews to reporters not just from around China, but also from foreign countries, including the Netherlands, France, the U.S. and Germany.
“Since my story was reported earlier , I’ve only taken one short break, . It seems I’ve already became a model protestor against the current family planning policy,”…
The media reports have helped Yang win tens of thousands of hearts across the country. In a survey carried out by www.qq.com, a prominent Chinese website, 75,331 people (91 percent of the survey’s respondents) supported Yang.
Yang’s wife, Chen Hong, 39, gave birth to their second daughter, Yang Ruonan, on . On the same day, the university officials formally announced guidelines outlining punishment for employees who violated the city’s family planning regulations, which included such sanctions as a three-year ban on promotions and a one-year salary freeze.
There was conflict almost immediately and the school fired Yang on after he refused to pay a fine in accordance with the new guidelines.
Yang could have avoided all the drama by paying a fine of 200,000 yuan ($29,283). However, he refused to do so, not because he couldn’t afford it, but because he refused to abide by policy he regards as “ridiculous,” he said.
“Why should I pay money for having my own kid? It’s not human trafficking. It’s our right as citizens. There’s no need for birth control in China, because the birth rate is already quite low in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, and China is an aging country,” he said, adding that the fine he refused to pay is 10 times higher than the price of a baby sold by human traffickers.
Even though Yang said he could have afforded the fine, he conceded it would have saddled him with a considerable debt. He had a monthly income of 5,000 yuan before losing his job and his wife has been unemployed since getting pregnant.
Now Yang makes a living by writing for various publications and websites, which, in a good month, brings in about 2,000 yuan.