M.Phil Year 2 Translation 06HT Week 5
40m bachelors and no women ... the birth of a new problem for China
1. China, the most populous nation on Earth, could find itself dealing with the combined frustrations of as many as 40 million single men by 2020 because its one-child policy is creating a shortage of female babies.
2. In an unusually frank speech on China's looming demographic crisis, Li Weixiong, who advises the country's political consultative conference on population issues, said a cultural preference for boys was creating an artificial disparity between the number of boys and girls that represents "a serious threat to building a well-off society".
3. Mr Li said the gender ratio had stayed relatively normal up until 1982 - two years after the Chinese authorities imposed the one-child rule - at 100 girls born for every 108 boys. But by 2000, the ratio had shifted significantly to about 117 boys to 100 girls.
4. Even in urban areas, boys are generally preferred because they are regarded as more able than girls to provide for their families, care for elderly relatives and continue the family line.
5. Several years ago the government prohibited doctors from telling couples the sex of their child, but the measure seems to have had little effect.