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Snapshots of China's local legislature meetings: Abortion ads; Kindergarten coupons; AIDS prevention

01-21-2011 08:51 BJT

BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Local legislatures across China held their annual sessions this week. Among the hundreds and thousands of legislative proposals, Xinhua reporters noticed the following eye poppers.

ABORTION ADVERTISING BAN

Abortion is legal in China but a splash of advertisements for painless abortion may have been offensive.

Cai Yuqun, a member of the People's Congress in east China's Zhejiang Province, said a ban on television, radio and roadside billboard abortion advertising should be enacted to prevent teens being misled into believing that abortions are harmless and an everyday thing.

"Those commercials send a message - that an abortion only takes a couple minutes and that by using anesthetic you can comfortably sleep while it is done," Cai said. "It is misleading. People are not warned of the enormous harm an abortion can do."

Cai said the number of people seeking abortion, including school-age girls, has risen over the past few years.

KINDERGARTEN COUPONS

Most Chinese parents spend a fortune on their children's education. Now they are forced to do that much earlier -- just to secure a place in a good kindergarten.

Members of the Municipal People's Congress of Shenzhen said the government has invested much in primary, secondary and higher education, leaving little for pre-school education.

More than 97 percent of the 1,000 kindergartens in Shenzhen are private and vary in terms of quality and resources. It is costly and difficult to enter a good kindergarten, they said.

Wu Changwen, a legislative member, proposed the government give "kindergarten coupons" to parents. Parents can then choose their preferred kindergarten and give the coupon to the school and the kindergartens can then can exchange the coupons for government funds.

Wu said the coupon scheme will ensure government investment in pre-school education and encourage competition among kindergartens.

AIDS-FREE PUSH FOR PROMOTION

In China, linking campaign success with officials' promotion appears to be the most effective way to advance campaign agendas.

Some legislative members of AIDS-ravaged regions have proposed that heads of local governments who fail in AIDS prevention should not be promoted, no matter how well they govern concerning other public affairs.

Members of the People's Congress in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region said HIV/AIDS has risen to an alarming level in the region, noting that 57,356 people with HIV/AIDS live in the province and that the illness had taken 10,858 lives in the region by June 2010.

They said it is necessary to make AIDS prevention a priority for heads of governments in cities, counties, and districts in the region.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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