The Globe and Mail (Canada)
August 6, 2007 Monday National Edition
China bans crude family planning slogans
Reuters News Agency
China has banned the use of slogans such as "raise fewer babies but more piggies" to promote family planning, worried that crude language may hamper its message in the world's most populous country, state media said yesterday.
The slogans are painted on walls and houses across China, but many are too coarse or even miswritten, the official Xinhua news agency cited a notice from the country's National Population and Family Planning Commission as saying.
Others judged offensive include "houses toppled, cows confiscated, if abortion demand rejected" and "one more baby means one more tomb," it said.
"Many slogans promoting the family planning policy are poorly worded or full of strong language that leave an impression of simply forcing people to give up having more babies, causing misunderstanding on the policy and even tarnishing the image of the government," the report added.
"If such low-quality slogans, which may cause public complaint and resentment, are not corrected and remain where they are, the country's family planning efforts in the new era will be hindered," it said.
The commission has come up with 190 new slogans judged more tasteful, such as "the mother Earth is too tired to sustain more children."
Stringent rules on family planning allow most couples to have just one child, at least in cities.
The restrictions have bolstered a traditional bias for male offspring - who are seen as the mainstay for elderly parents - and have resulted in abortions, or the killing or abandonment of baby girls.