Following the extensive amount of attention paid recently to the issue of large numbers of pregnant women from mainland China who travel to Hong Kong to deliver their child—often in an attempt to evade China’s one-child policy, but one which includes residency in the city and places severe strain on Hong Kong’s healthcare system. And this is all before the arrival of the dragon babies.
Thus, demands have grown prevalent in Hong Kong for a cap on the number of women from mainland China allowed to give birth there. From the mainland perspective, people are worried that giving birth in Hong Kong will gradually become a privilege of the fuerdai—second generation rich—and their counterparts, guanerdai, the offspring of officials.
In response, Zhang Feng, the Family Planning commissioner of Guangdong, has said that he agrees with calls for Hong Kong to limit the number of mainland births in the SAR. Speaking to New Express over the weekend, Zhang added that violations of the one-child policy involving births in Hong Kong should be fined, if such cases can be verified, the same as if they had taken place within mainland China.
Meanwhile, RTHK has reported that violations in Hong Kong of China’s one-child policy will result in a fine “up to six times the per capita disposable income of residents’ hometowns.”
Both Macau and Hong Kong are exempt from China’s one-child policy.
Seeing as how many families in China now just pay the fine for birthing beyond their quota, would such a move make any difference in freeing up maternity ward beds in Hong Kong hospitals?
Miss Yu, a mainland mother residing in Guangzhou, told New Express that she just had a daughter this year and plans to have a son born in Hong Kong sometime in the near future, but adds that the introduction of entry caps on the Hong Kong side would leave her a bit helpless.
“I’d rather see Hong Kong just totally shut the door to mainland mothers,” Yu said, “than see so many people fighting so hard over just one spot. Brokerage fees will soar and in the end it will just become an exclusive privilege available only to the rich and powerful.”
Zhang also supports the notion of limiting the number of mainland China parents allowed to give birth in Hong Kong: “I think Hong Kong should have applied a limit to mainland births long ago.”
“People think having excess babies in Hong Kong won’t result in a fine, but as long as the one-child policy is violated, a fine will always be applied.”