BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- In an effort to win more
understanding to the country's population control policy, China's top family
planning authority has decided to clean up stiff or even coarsely-worded slogans
on rural walls that ask people to have fewer children.
The National Population and
Family Planning Commission issued a circular this week demanding local officials
to substitute those stiff, offensive and bad-taste slogans with 190 recommended
ones which it said had been selected from a national collection campaign.
The commission said in the circular currently 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 slogans sometimes are full of wrongly written
words and are also poorly painted, with an unorderly design of character size,
color, typeface and position, the commission said.
The problems are not to be neglected, it said, though
admitting slogans have played an indispensable role in promoting the state
policy of family planning and creating a favorable environment for population
Before the cleanup campaign of the commission, some
ridiculous population control slogans have long been laughing stocks of online
Widely posted slogans on BBS and blogs range from
earthy ones like "Raise fewer babies but more piggies" to forcible or bloody
ones like "Houses toppled, cows confiscated, if abortion demand rejected" and
"One more baby means one more tomb."
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, the
commission said, proposing a list of more amiable slogans including "The mother
earth is too tired to sustain more children" and "Both boys and girls are
The circular urged local officials to use
understandable, persuasive and popular expressions in the slogans, warning them
to avoid relentless and rude wording.
The family planning policy, implemented in 1979,
allows families to have only one child, but ethnic minority couples can have
more than one, while the restriction in rural areas has also been loosened in
The policy has helped China to reduce the speed of
population growth, delaying by four years the 1.3 billion figure reached at the
beginning of 2005.
However, the traditional idea that more children
bring more happiness still prevails in rural areas, challenging the country's
population control efforts. And the traditional preference for boys sometimes
leads to selective abortion, causing worries over the imbalance of gender