August 03, 2005


In order to counter the excessive population growth, in the late 1970s (more or less) the Chinese government decided to allow only one child per family - having more requires the payment of a hefty fee.

This policy, coupled with the preference for male kids strongly radicated in the Chinese culture caused a serious demographic imbalance: in China, there are several million males more than females.

Last night on BBC (during the ads within CSI) I saw a documentary dealing exactly with this issue, and I learnt that Chinese authorities started a program aimed at reducing this imbalance. Specifically, couples which have a female as their first child are allowed to a second one, and there are benefits for young daughters to make them study and have better prospects in life, and benefits for parents as well.

Now, will this plan eventually overcorrect causing China to have an excess of women? I can only hope...

One of the families featured in the documentary comprised a blind father. The subtitles at one point said "Being disabled, I cannot get a job..."
Now, I have a hard time believing that a bloke from a poor village in inner China used the Mandarin equivalent of "disabled" - if it even exists. Also from what I've learnt, Chinese tend to be pretty blunt; they don't use many niceties of speech. Another politically correct job from BBC?


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