Parents who lost a child in China quake to get £11,800 payout

Couples who lost an only child in the Sichuan earthquake have been given an exemption from the One Child Policy and pressured to take big cash payments in the latest effort to smooth any social unrest ahead of next week's Olympic Games in Beijing.

The father of one of the children who died in the Juyuan Middle School in Dujiangyan during the quake on 12 May said they had been, in effect, told to sign a deal that gives them a payment of 160,000 yuan (£11,800) for each child.

"They asked us to sign a contract to apply for social relief. But this is just a kind of compensation from the government for our loss, for our lost children. The government wrote the contract itself. They just told us to sign it," said the father, whose identity has been protected. His son died in the 7.9-magnitude earthquake, in which more than 87,000 people were killed or are missing.

He also said the parents had been told they were allowed to have another child, even though the One Child Policy of population control does not allow that. The standing committee of the Sichuan provincial People's Congress passed rules on Friday setting out the terms of the deal, saying which couples would be allowed to have more children.

More than 90 per cent of the hundreds of children who died at the Juyuan Middle School were only children. "Both officials and ordinary people said parents whose children died or were crippled in the quake had to be permitted to have another," Wang Yukun, vice-chairman of the standing committee, told the China Daily newspaper, which is the main English-language publication in China.

The earthquake in the mountainous province in south-western China was particularly hard on children because it struck at 2.28pm, when many children were at school. Parents were angry at the number of school buildings that fell in the quake and believe official corruption was behind the poor construction standards in many of the schools.

The parents of the children at Juyuan have tried to present petitions to the local government but have faced strong official opposition. Public displays of anger are not tolerated as they are socially destabilising and the official response has been a mixture of stick and carrot – some parents were detained by police after the event and there were offers of major compensation to calm other angry mothers and fathers.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Website Editor

£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

Primary Supply teaching jobs in Stowmarket

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

Year 1 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...

Year 2 Teacher - Maternity cover

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 maternity cover, startin...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments