AAP | March 20 2006
ALREADY only allowed to have one child, Chinese parents may now face restrictions on what name they can give their baby.
China is planning to introduce new regulations on name registration because the government's computer database is unable to handle rare Chinese characters, state media reported today.
The Ministry of Public Security's name database for new electronic identity cards to be issued to China's 1.3 billion population in 2008 does not contain thousands of uncommon characters.
"We cannot handwrite rare characters on the cards like we did before," the China Daily quoted Bao Suixian, a deputy director at the Ministry of Public Security, as saying.
In China, there is a strong tradition of making up unique names for babies that carry hopes for their child's future.
Chinese parents often choose simple words such as "strength", "wisdom" and "bright" for boys and "serenity" and "beauty" for girls.
But they also like to choose words from ancient poems rarely used in the contemporary Chinese language.
Chinese computer databases often contain fewer than 27,000 Chinese characters while the Kangxi Dictionary, the authority on the language, contains 50,000 characters.
Chinese parents have already endured years of strict family laws following the introduction of a one-child policy in 1979 to limit the nation's population growth.