China by 2020 &#0151 30 Million Unhappy Bachelors

With no letup in sight for the nation's unbridled rate of sex-selective abortion and female infanticide, China will have 30 million more marriageable men than women in less than 15 years, Chinese media reported Friday.

Last year there were 118 boys born for every 100 girls, a giant leap from 110 boys to 100 girls only five years ago, the China Daily revealed in a front-page report.

In some areas of China, such as the southern regions of Guangdong and Hainan, the gender gap has ballooned to 130 boys to 100 girls, the report said. The average for developed nations is 104 to 100.

The Chinese communist government's coercive one-child policy has been in place since the 1970s. This policy alone, researchers say, is already resulting in a severe disproportion between senior and working-age people that could cripple social security and retirement programs.

An unforeseen side effect of the policy, however, comes from the consistent number of Chinese couples who, permitted only one child, much prefer having a son to a daughter. Having a son, they believe, will ensure their support in old age, and also gives them a certain status quo. Hence a significant percentage of couples who conceive a girl first abort or kill her at birth in order to get a "second chance" at having a "firstborn" son.

Although sex-selective abortion is officially prohibited, in June 2006 the Chinese government refused proposals to make it in any way a punishable offence.

In recent years has published numerous warnings about the effects of China's one-child policy and its gender-gap fallout from officials within China and demographics experts around the world.

In March 2004, deputy chairman of the family planning committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Li Weixiong described the visible effects of sex-selective abortion. Not only is it disheartening for the male population, Weixiong explained, it has also had a negative impact on the existing female population, causing a "dramatic rise" in prostitution, mercenary marriage and the black market trade of women.

A year ago University of Toulouse professor of economics Paul Seabright voiced his concern that the gender imbalance in China may lead to violence and even terrorism by the unmarriageable and "sexually frustrated" men there. "I'd like to make a small bet that in 30 years time there will be more terrorist incidents in China than probably almost anywhere else, because of increased competition," Seabright said.

Turning a deaf ear to such warnings, the Chinese Communist government in the year 2000 announced its decision to celebrate the "great success" of the one-child policy, having "preventing at least 250 million births since 1980," by making it permanent. The Party stated in its release: "We cannot just be content with the current success, we must make population control a permanent policy."

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