UK & World News

  • 7 February 2013, 12:09

China: Baby Crushed By Van In 'One Child' Row

A one-year-old boy has died after being crushed by a Chinese government vehicle during a row over the country's one-child policy.

Two government workers have been arrested following the incident near the city of Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province.

According to local media reports, a dozen or so officials had arrived at the home of Chen Liandi and his wife Li Yuhong to collect fines after they had exceeded the one-child policy.

A tussle is said to have broken out during which the baby boy was dropped. The details of how he ended up underneath the van are not clear.

The couple had three children. In urban areas, couples are restricted to having one child.

"We were required to pay 30,000 to 40,000 yuan (£3,500) otherwise they would have detained us," Mr Chen is quoted as saying according to the state news agency Xinhua.

The incident sparked an angry confrontation with police outside the local Communist Party offices.

Pictures posted on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, appear to show the confrontation, though Sky News has been unable to contact any of the account holders who posted the pictures.

One photo shows the child's father†with a ripped jacket. The caption underneath claims that his clothes were torn in the scuffle with the "population enforcement officials".

According to the Xinhua news agency, the driver of the vehicle and a local Communist Party official have been arrested.

China has enforced a one-child policy for three decades in an effort to control its population. The Communist Party has faced increasing calls to revise or scrap the strict rules.

With incidents like this and reports of forced abortions, the policy has caused individual tragedy for some couples.

Nationally, a long-term crisis threatens with the country's population getting older and single children forced to look after ageing parents alone.

Through pressure, some regulations have been relaxed. Second children are permitted to couples living in rural areas and to couples who are themselves both only children.

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