My biggest problem with this sort of story is that when they are presented in the Western media, they are presented in such a monochrome and two dimensional manner. There is very little background to the actual story and even less cultural background, against which the basic assumptions, expectations and understandings of the principal participants are explained to the global public.
I think people could do a lot worse than to read Peter Lee's article on the event. I find Peter Lee one of the few truly objective and relatively impartial writers on the PRC.
Asia Times Online :: China's addiction to birth-planning
China's addiction to birth planning
He not only describes the background to the story, but also how it fits into the social fabric of Chinese Society and the Social Policy Infrastructure of China's Family Planning Policy.
In short, he concluded that the story was an unfortunate misalignment of a young couple trying to "game" the family planning system, at a time when the local office for same, was under pressure from above over long term under performance and general slackness.
As for the angry reaction from some other residents of the couples town?
Just as in any other country, If you try and game the system and lose and then make a loud noise and seem to be rewarded for it, those that have played and paid by the rules will be mightily upset with you.