Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ticking Time Bomb

Guangdong has reported that in the first nine months of this year, one million babies have been born in the southern Chinese province.

And by December it is expecting 1.2 million bundles of joy in total.

The population there is the country's largest at 100 million.

According to Zhang Feng, director of the Guangdong population and family planning committee, these babies are creating major challenges for authorities.

He says the baby boom started in 2005 and will last 10 years. This year had a particularly high number of births due to the large migrant population, and because 2008 was the Olympic year, many wanted to mark the event with a kid.

Also, since 2002, only children who get married to each other can have two children. Fines rather than detainments have been enforced as punishment for those who aren't supposed to have more than one child, making it easier for those with money to defy the family planning policy.

Nevertheless, what is shocking is that Zhang reports a higher incidence of congenital mental disorders in this years' babies.

Of the infants born this year in Guangdong, 6 to 7 percent of them have some kind of mental handicap compared to the national average of 4 to 6 percent. In the United States, it's 2.5 to 3 perent of the population.

He has no explanation for the why Guangdong has such high numbers, but it's possible with the toxic environment many live and work in this province which has so many factories, that could have led to these kinds of births.

So not only will these mentally-challenged children be a burden to the health care system, but also the ratio of men to women.

In Guangdong, the ratio is now 1.15 boys for every girl, which is an improvement from 1.3 boys for every girl in 2000.

By 2020 there will be 4.6 million men who will have to live bachelor lives, and that's not a good sign for harmony in society.

The government is already aware of this problem nationwide, but it seems to have its head stuck in the sand when it says it'll battle the issue by properly enforcing family planning policies.

What about dealing with the current issue at hand, not just preventing future ones?

And hiring young men to stand guard at every other government institution and state-run company isn't going to keep them occupied or happy for long.


ks said...

china needs a very strict and ethical food and drug agency to control and examine the quality of chinese products. they have to regain the confidence of world wide consumers.

Louisa said...

No worries. There are such a surplus of female in Hong Kong that when these boys in Guangzhou grow up, they can easily find mates across the border ;P