China has launched a program to replace harsh slogans, which sometimes even threaten criminal acts, that some officials use to promote the country's one-child policy.
Instead it wants to substitute with milder expressions in an effort to "avoid offending the public and stoking social tensions."
The program, named "face-washing project," initiated by the National Population and Family Planning Commission, aims to phase out those eye-sore slogans involving violent threats and replace them with "friendly" expressions, the People's Daily reported yesterday.
Some local officials in rural areas have come up with nasty slogans to intimidate couples planning to have more than one child. Simply reading some of them can send chills down one's spine.
Some examples: "If you don't receive the tubal ligation surgery by the deadline, your house will be demolished!" "We would rather scrape your womb than allow you to have a second child!" "Kill all your family members if you don't follow the rule!"
"Once you get captured, an immediate tubal ligation will be done; Should you escape, we'll hunt you down; If you attempt a suicide, we'll offer you either the rope or a bottle of poison."
The Chinese government adopted the family-planning policy in the late 1970s to rein in the growth rate of the world's largest population. It officially restricts most couples in urban areas to one child. Those who violate the regulation may face a huge fine.
"Overpopulation remains one of the major challenges to social and economic development," said Li Bin, director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, according to Xinhua news agency.