A nurse attends to newborn babies at a hospital in Xiangyang, Hubei Province. (Photo: VCG)
An assistant to the Peking University professor, who recently made controversial remarks, explained he was just giving an example in his speech, according to media report on Saturday. The professor said earlier that whoever had given birth five times should be exempted from the school's admission exam.
Professor Wu Bihu, director of the Tourism Research and Planning Center at Peking University, made the remarks at the 2019 Collaborative Innovation High-end Forum, when he was making a point in a speech that China's population has declined precipitously in recent years, and the country should proactively introduce fertility policies.
Wu's comments sparked widespread criticism on Chinese social media.
"The proposal is so absurd. Why do they have to sacrifice their health just for a seat at Peking University?" said one netizen.
Wu's assistant responded to the criticism and clarified on Saturday that it was not a proposal, but an example in the context of what he said at the forum, Chengdu-based news outlet Red Star reported.
Wu's speech was aimed at how China might lose its advantages due to its likely population decrease by 2030, the assistant said in the report, and added, "the point he wanted to make was that if faced with such a large population pressure, the country should formulate policies to encourage fertility."
The assistant also emphasized that it wasn't a formal proposal and not meant for serious discussion.