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Farmer in China faces reduced fine after having eight children, reports say

A man in Sichuan Province, China, had his fine reduced after fathering eight children, according to local press reports. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A man in Sichuan Province, China, had his fine reduced after fathering eight children, according to local press reports. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

July 7 (UPI) -- A Chinese farmer who broke China's laws by having eight children had his fine reduced to $14,000 from $400,000 as the country changes its outlook on family planning.

The defendant with the surname Liu, a native of Anyue County in southwestern Sichuan Province, had violated China's family planning policies while trying to produce male heirs, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday, citing mainland Chinese news service Jiemian News.

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Liu, 50, had five daughters with an ex-wife before finally having two sons in 2006 and 2010, the report said.

A girl born between the two boys was given away for adoption because of "too much financial pressure."

Liu divorced in 2016 and remarried, raising seven children together with his second wife.

China's family planning law prohibits households since June of having more than three children. Restrictions began to ease in 2015, when the state permitted families to have up to two children.

In 2019, Liu was ordered to pay a fine of 2.6 million yuan for his last three children, or about $400,000, reports said.

"We know that he wouldn't be able to pay so much money," a local Chinese official was quoted as saying. "But we can't turn a blind eye since he broke the law."

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Liu claimed he is financially responsible for his extended family and suggested he is strapped for cash. His fine was reduced to 90,000 yuan, or $14,000.

"I'll pay what I have, after deducting expenditure for my children and parents' daily lives. I will face it and pay as much as I can," the farmer said.

Prominent figures in China, including award-winning filmmaker Zhang Yimou, have faced fines for having multiple children.

Zhang fathered seven children with different women, drawing public outcry, according to The Guardian in 2013, citing Chinese state media at the time. Zhang faced a fine of up to $24.7 million, when Chinese law allowed parents to be fined up to twice their annual income.

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