- Tragic image of dead infant was taken from a riverbank in south east China
- Search is on to identify newborn baby wearing a nappy and rompersuit
- China has one-baby policy and higher levels of female infanticide as result
An horrific image of a newborn baby drowned in a river has caused outrage in China after it emerged on local social networking sites.
The picture – taken from a river bank in south east China – apparently shows a dead infant wearing a romper suit and a nappy several days after the newborn had been abandoned in the water.
The photo has appalled Chinese internet users who have set up an online search for clues to the baby’s identity.
‘Abandoning babies is not new but most people do it at a place where the child will have a choice of a new life,’ said one.
‘Dumping a baby in a river to die is inhuman,’
China has a one-baby policy, introduced in 1979 to keep the country’s population under control, which restricts urban couples to having just one child.
Despite egalitarian policies in China, many families hope to have a son to provide for them in their old age, and as a result the country has a higher rate of female infanticide and lower ration of female: male births.
Ultrasounds, commonly used in western countries to assess risks of problems with babies in utero, are not allowed in China because of the risk of couples aborting babies if the scan shows that they are not the parents’ preferred gender.