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China battles 'gendercide'

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 07/16/2004 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

Facing a critical shortage of women that could leave millions of men without wives, China is trying to convince its populace of the value of girls, who have been systematically killed during birth or after as a result of the one-child limit on most families.

Beijing has developed a five-year plan to correct the alarming disparity in the numbers of males and females in the country.

First exposed by WND in 1997, what has come to be known as “gendercide” in China has resulted in the deaths of at least 50 million girls.

The government is promoting what it calls “Girl Care Project” – teaching rural families to value daughters as much as sons – and strengthening the social welfare system, especially in rural areas, said Zhao Baige, a vice-minister of the State Population and Family Planning Commission.

She said Beijing was committed to bringing the sex ratio, which now sees 117 boys born for every 100 girls, back in line with international standards. The world average is 107 boys to 100 girls.

Only seven mainland provinces come close to matching the world’s average, with fewer than 110 boys against 100 girls. Some have 130 boys for every 100 girls.

Experts have warned that if the problem is not corrected soon, China will face dire social problems, with millions of men unable to find wives. The imbalance will also aggravate the problem of an aging population in the future.

Five years ago, each retiree in China was supported by 10 workers. By 2020 this ratio will have fallen to one to six, and by 2050 to one to three.

China’s population grew at an estimated average rate of 1 percent a year between 1991 and 2002. It was then officially estimated at 1.28 billion, though this may be a significant underestimate. Under-reporting of births has become common since the government’s strict one-child family policy was introduced in 1980.

The birth rate fell from 37 per 1,000 people in 1952 to 12.9 per 1,000 in 2002. The death rate fell from 17 per 1,000 in the early years of the People’s Republic of China to 6.4 per 1,000 in 2002.

This shortage of workers to support an aging population including more and more retirees will cause an economic crisis in China, say analysts.

In addition, to an aging population, China increasingly is developing a population dominated by males. This, too, is a direct offshoot of the one-child policy, which has resulted in the “disappearance” of millions of girls – most of whom are assumed to have been killed at birth or shortly afterward, while others were the victims of sex-selection abortion procedures. Many other young girls are put up for foreign adoption. Two-thirds of Chinese children put up for adoption are female.

As first reported in WorldNetDaily, in September 1997, the World Health Organization released a report at WHO’s Regional Committee for the Western Pacific that said more than 50 million women were estimated to be “missing” in China because of the institutionalized killing and neglect of girls due to Beijing’s population control program that limits parents to one child.

Many of the girls were killed while still in the womb – the victims of ultrasound technology that revealed the baby’s sex. Others, WHO said, were starved to death after birth, the victims of violence or were not treated when they became ill.

The report’s statistics showed that in 1994, 117 boys were born for every 100 girls in China. That is the same ratio today in China – 10 years later. Though baby girls tend to have a higher survival rate than boys, that natural process has been dramatically reversed in China by infanticide, gross neglect, maltreatment and malnutrition of females in a culture that regards boys as more desirable – especially when couples get only one chance at parenthood.

The trend transcends the infancy stage, too, the report shows. Girls are at higher risk than boys of dying before the age of 5 in China – despite their natural biological advantages.

“In many cases, mothers are more likely to bring their male children to health centers – particularly to private physicians – and they may be treated at an earlier stage of disease than girls,” the paper reported.

WHO documented what can only be described as the biggest single holocaust in human history – and doing it in a surprisingly clinical and low-key fashion. It was characterized in that WorldNetDaily report, for the first time, as “gendercide,” a phrase that has been picked up by other organizations and activists around the globe

Chinese adults desperate for children have fueled a major criminal industry in child kidnappings. One recent government operation cracked a gang suspected of being behind a wave of abductions and reunited 63 children with their parents after weeks or months of separation.

The children – all boys who are much in demand among childless couples in China – were sold as far away as the southeastern province of Fujian 750 miles from Kunming in Yunnan province, according to published reports.

So great is the shortage of young women in China, many men are taking to “purchasing” foreign “brides” – sometimes actually sex slaves. The price for Burmese women – many of whom are desperate because of poverty in that nation – is between $600 and $2,400, depending on youth and beauty.

In border towns like Ruili and throughout Yunnan province, AIDS is a major killer. A prostitute’s fee there is the equivalent of $1.20 for a brief encounter or $6 for an entire night. Most of the prostitutes are Burmese women.

Officially, the government of China has banned the use of ultrasound to determine gender. But the laws are hard to enforce, because the women who take the tests and the doctors who perform them keep them secret.

As countries modernize and women become more educated, they often choose to have fewer children. But in Asia, many women still want to have at least one boy.

“Some people think sons can earn more money,” says Minja Kim Choe, a demographer at the University of Hawaii.

Some Chinese couples who want a boy simply choose to abandon female infants to die.

Earlier stories:

China’s gendercide crisis

Cover-up of China’s ‘gender-cide’


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