Full Coverages>China>2004 NPC & CPPCC>Delegates' Focus

Policy advisors warn danger of rising newborn sex imbalance
By (Xinhua)
Updated: 2004-03-08 14:49

Some 30-40 million marriage-age men in China would live a singles life by 2020 if the practice of CT gender screening in the embryo stage is not held in check, said Li Weixiong, vice-chairman of the population, resources and environment committee of the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"This is by no means a sensational prediction," said Li. "The great disparities between male and female newborns mean a serious threat to building a well-off society."

"The disproportion of male to female has become more and more serious, especially in the rural areas," Li said in a keynote speech at a full meeting of the on-going CPPCC annual session, which opened here last Wednesday.

Li quoted the figures of previous population censuses as saying that the newborn gender ratio was 100:108.5 in 1982, 100:111.3 in 1990 and 100:116.9 in 2000 in the country as a whole but it reached as high as more than 100:130 in Hainan and Guangdong. Whereas the normal proportion is 100:104-107. If the situation is allowed to continue unchecked, there would be 30-40 million marriage-age men who would go singles all their lives by 2020.

"Such serious gender disproportion poses a major threat to the healthy, harmonious and sustainable growth of the nation's population and would trigger such crimes and social problems as mercenary marriage, abduction of women and prostitution," Li said.

The policy advisors attributed the grave situation to the centuries-old feudalistic ideas, sophisticated medical testing means and the lagging social security system in the countryside. Although China has the maternal and child care law and family planning law, which forbid embryo gender screening, Li said. they have little effect.

He urged the government to adopt a combination of legal, economic, educational and cultural measures to lower the birth proportion of male to female.

  Story Tools