Shanghaiist is not about to engage in an argument on the socio-economic impact that China’s one-child policy has had on all aspects of the country’s existence and future. We recognize the importance of population control in a country that continues to struggle with large-scale poverty, underemployment, unemployment, a weakened social welfare system and disappearing farmable land to grow enough food for a 1.3 billion (and growing) population. We definitely don’t want to get into a debate about that “deep-rooted Chinese concept that males are superior to females.” But this kind of whitewashing of the one-child policy in a country that has the most unbalanced population ratio in the world can be called irresponsible at best. And it is certainly not going to help all of those poor, abandoned — or worse — baby girls:
A Chinese official said Wednesday that China’s birth ratio of 100 girls to nearly 120 boys was not related to the national family planning policy.
The normal sex ratio at birth should be in the range between 100:103 and 100:107, but the ratio has reached 100:119.86 in China, said Gu Xiulian, chairwoman of the All-China Women’s Federation, at a press conference in Beijing.
Gu attributed the imbalance to three factors: a deep-rooted Chinese concept that males are superior to females; the lack of a social security system in rural areas; and the availability of technology to identify the sex of a fetus, Xinhua reported.
Shanghaiist isn’t trying to oversimplify what is undoubtedly a very complex issue by saying that the one-child policy is the sole problem — or even the biggest — when it comes to the country’s population imbalance. There are indeed other factors that may play a significant role in the male to female population imbalance in China. But this blatant unwillingness to be held accountable in any way has really left us rather speechless. Fortunately, these official comments are already fairly effective in illustrating a fundamental problem … one that we recognize doesn’t only exist in China.
There’s always room for improvement, comrades.
Image from Stefan Landsberger’s Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages.