Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Demographics Is Destiny, In China, Too

Dong-a Ilbo editorialist Kim Sun-deok discusses "the possible revocation of China’s one-child policy" given the economic nightmare scenario that "China is feared to start seeing an aging population in 2020 before it becomes advanced" — China’s One-Child Policy.

Reminding us of the tragedy that "[w]ith the development of ultrasound, the abortion of female fetuses spread," Mr. Kim reports that "[t]he girl-boy ratio in China has soared from 100:108 in 1989 to 100:123 this year." He quotes the Chinese Academy of Social Science as starkly predicting, "Ten years from now, one in five boys will have no chance to find a spouse."

"More voices in the Middle Kingdom are warning of social and political unrest, including higher incidence of kidnapping, rape and violence, resulting from frustrated bachelors who cannot find wives," reports Mr. Kim. He also suggests that as "families with sons are scrambling to increase savings to give their sons a better chance at marriage, a situation that could suppress consumption and cause an economic slump" might occur. [The Austrian School disagrees with this facile analysis.]

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Demographics are destiny, indeed.

The future belongs to those who are here to enjoy it.

Increasingly that doesn't include Chinese girls.

Which means that in the future, there will be far fewer Chinese.

And that means far fewer Chinese young people working to support aging and retired Chinese workers.

Not a good scenario.

Of course, we in the US would be in the same boat, roughly, except for our immigration policies and the increase among of our people of individuals of Hispanic ancestry.

Por la futura!

1:29 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


Several years ago, I knew a businesswoman who had been to China several times, and she said the Chinese women who are so prized as potential wives don't have any interest in getting married. They'd rather focus on their careers and have a boyfriend (if ever) on the side. When I asked her why she thought that was so, she said that there is nothing more discouraging to a woman who might want to be a mother than a government-enforced one-child policy.

And aren't some Chinese women already marrying (presumably wealthier) Korean men? It looks bleaker and bleaker . . .

4:18 PM  
Blogger xavier said...


Well it appears that the regime is preparing its people fora radical change in policy and to allow a 2 child policy.

The reason is rather utilitarian: many of the rural workers no longer want to travel so far away from home to work in the Pearl Delta region (Hong Kong and up north to Guangzhong)

So now there's a shortage of factory workers in those areas and it'll slow down economic growth and shake the regime's political legitimacy.

I just find this to be a form of divine justice against scientistic hubris. The 1 child policy was based on the Rome club predictions without bothering to hold a proper census to ascertain how many people China actually had.

The strutting peacocks thought the the 21st century would be China's but it,s beeen undercut even befor it got underway.

Mao and the communist party deserve kudos for effectively shattering 5000 years of culture and one that loved life and large families.

China might have 5000 years of history but its culture is effectively 60 years old.

10:48 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

"China might have 5000 years of history but its culture is effectively 60 years old."

Lord have mercy, that was perceptive!

One hopes in this case that the Chinese would echo the Western "get the government out of my bedroom" mantra, but to a more productive (and procreative) purpose.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


It is perceptive! I'll be thinking about that whenever I read about China, from now on.

1:37 AM  

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