There is a group of extraordinary thieves in southern China that has ordinary people rattled. They know when their would-be victims are most vulnerable, and they take advantage of this vulnerability. In the proverbial blink of an eye, they strike—and abscond with a family’s greatest treasure, leaving it without a future.
I mean that literally. That’s because what is being stolen aren’t people’s possessions or even their life’s savings: It’s their sons. Yet again, our modern contempt for life claims yet more victims.
A recent New York Times article tells about the theft of young boys in China’s Pearl River Delta. Families desperate for male heirs pay thousands of dollars for young boys.
The children are often stolen at dusk when their parents, tired from work, are distracted. Thieves lure them by offering toys and pieces of fruit. The more brazen ones simply snatch them and throw them into still-moving cars.
Government officials downplay the problem, claiming that there “are fewer than 2,500 [total] cases of human trafficking each year” in China. Advocates for victims of child theft insist that there may be several hundred thousand stolen boys.
It’s easy to understand why government officials downplay the problem: Because it’s the result of China’s “one-child” policy. Rural families, for both cultural and economic reasons, place a premium on male children. Since the law limits families to one child, if they give birth to a girl they have no heir. And then they’ll often resort to theft. It’s an inexcusable but foreseeable result of China’s war against life.
The scope of the problem is clearly seen in the numbers. A study released around the same time as the Times’ story, published in the British Medical Journal, found that China has 32 million more males than females under twenty. In 2005, there were 120 boys born for every 100 girls.
This is what China’s “one-child policy” has caused. The preference for male children has led to the aborting of 16 million females.
The report’s authors warned that this imbalance could lead to an increase in crime by “young men unable to find female partners.”
As we’ve reported on BreakPoint, this is already happening: Chinese officials are increasingly alarmed at brutal crimes committed by unattached young men that are “without specific motives, often without forethought.”
Not enough males in one part of the country, too many “hopeless, volatile” males in other parts: This is the price China is paying for declaring war on human life. We cannot defy the moral order God has written into his creation without, as the scriptures put it, reaping the whirlwind.
I say “we” because even China’s tragic example isn’t enough to cause the West to examine its own contempt for life. Sixteen million dead girls isn’t enough to make us seriously question abortion on demand.
Likewise, we have no problem with anti-natalism, only with the “mean” way the Chinese implement it: not so much because it hurts ordinary Chinese people but because it raises questions we would rather not face. Questions like “What will our contempt for life cost us?”