Just one month ago I posted a translation of one scholar’s paper in which he compared Asian fetish with pedophilia. Today I want to present the translated paper of another “scholar” (this time from Chinese) who makes a very unusual proposal regarding the measures that have to be taken to battle the problems of ageing population and gender imbalance in China.
If you don’t want to read the lengthy introduction in which its author provides the background and statistics you can go to straight to the proposal itself by following this link.
Note: the original Chinese paper was published in February 2011.
Soon the spring will come and flowers will blossom. And on Valentine’s Day charming Chinese women will meet elegant Chinese men.
But not everything is perfect.
Various media sources report the news that [China’s] Midwest companies do not succeed to recruit enough staff. And the coastal cities are swarmed with illegal foreign workers from Southeast Asia and Africa. [Another] strange situation is in Shanghai and Beijing where less candidates take university entrance exams than the number of students supposed to be admitted. All facts show that China is in extreme lack of young population, and it already has serious impact on China’s fortunes. Huge problems will affect the development of China for the coming decades.
Simultaneous shortage of workers and shortage of students show that China is no longer a “young China”.
From its founding and till the 1970s China encouraged childbirth. To some extent, the rapid development in 30 years before the “open-up policy” was the result of [growth of] population.
[But] since the implementation of Family Planning Policy the proportion of young people decreased every year. At the beginning of reform in 1979, children from 0 to 14 years old represented one third of the whole population. In 2009, their proportion was less than one fifth. […] The number of primary schools decreased from 700,000 to 300,000.
With family planning policy in place China quickly becomes an aging society. In the next 10 years, the population of 18 – 22 years old will decrease by 40 million and those in 20 – 40 y. o. range by 100-300 million.
Today, not the young but the old represent the biggest segment of population. 70% of Chinese people are above 35 years old – alarming number! By 2020 the proportion of those who are older than 65 y. o. will be 16.6% – higher than in any country in the world. [And] In the next 50 years China might face the danger of extinction.
But it’s not only about the lack of youth in China, there is also a problem of imbalance. According to the fifth population census (results of the sixth census haven’t been released yet) the sex ratio at birth in China was 1.17. That is, for 100 newborn girls there were 117 boys. And in the places where the second child is allowed if the first one is girl, the proportion reached 143:100.
Family planning policy is a foregone conclusion. Even if it changes, in the next 20 years, we will lack youth. If we don’t protect young women (making them) to marry in China, the population will shrink because of the small number of families, and the risk of extinction will become real.
If China wants to be a “Youth Country” again, first of all, we have to protect the future “Chinese mothers”. Thus, the most important Chinese strategic resource is not oil, not rare earths, not even pandas, but the young women. ”Beautiful girls” will become the largest strategic resource of China.
In order to protect the strategic resource of young women, I suggest that country gradually implements the “beauty tax”. Actually, there is already such precedent in one country where the lack of young women yielded the implementation of similar taxation.
In the small country of Belarus, East Europe, the president Lukashenko personally addressed the “beauty issues”. One day, he discovered by chance that almost all female models were foreign women. So he asked, “where did all Byelorussian girls go? ” The answer was “The most beautiful girls were hired by foreign model companies.” Lukashenko was furious and ordered to limit the “export” of beautiful girls to protect the national strategic resource.
Lukashenko believes that outflow of beautiful girls is a very serious problem. When the most outstanding females went to West, it directly influenced the quality of Belarus little population. For example, Domenkova who won the World Supermodel Contest in 2005 and is regarded as one of the most beautiful Byelorussian females, signed a contract with American model company. In Belarus which has a lot of beautiful women, many girls become famous international models, go abroad for work and marry there. As a result, Byelorussian government strengthened the control over [the movement] of beautiful girls abroad and adopted the restrictive measures on foreign model companies which invite young females.
“Where do our girls go?” The question asked by Belarus is the voice of many Chinese men.
Currently, there is a surprising number of Chinese women doing show business abroad. And the young Chinese girls marrying abroad only aggravate the gender imbalance. For example, Wei Wei who married a foreigner and lives in Sweden. Not only China lost a worker in the field of art but also a beautiful woman. Indirectly it caused some Chinese man to lose a spouse and more than one child in China.
In view of this, China should learn from Belarus how to prevent young women from leaving homeland. This proposal is not going to restrict women’s freedom of choice, but if woman marries a foreigner – he must pay tax equal to the average annual income in his country. For example, if American marries a Chinese woman, the tax must be in accordance with average American income per capita.
If the man doesn’t want to pay tax, he must become a Chinese citizen (“enroll” himself into the workforce of China) and the children also should become Chinese citizens. At the same time, Chinese men must be encouraged to marry foreign women by giving subsidies equal to the average income per capita in China. But if after marriage he receives foreign citizenship, the subsidies can be exempted.
NPC (National People’s Congress) and CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) should consider to enforce the relevant legislation regarding the important national strategic resource of beautiful girls. I suggest that this year NPC and CPPCC make adjustments to the population control policies. First, adjust the family planning policy and allow families to have two children. Second, implement the beauty tax. Both of them are important issues related to the number and quality of China’s future population.
To build trust by moving wooden poles, the state laws must have authority. Charging the beauty tax should start from Weiwei’s family.
The author, Luo Tianhao was a senior researcher in Cheung Kong School. Currently, he is an independent scholar and writer.
I don’t know if you laughed while reading the paper, but I’d like to conclude this post with two references.
First, is the anecdote report from Guizhou province where the local authorities of one village started rewarding local men for marrying women outside their county.
About half of the area’s young women have married non-locals in recent years. That has in turn led to fewer children being born there, prompting the primary school to stop recruiting new students in 2009.
This situation has resulted in the local government to offer rewards to men marrying women outside the county, with up to 3,000 yuan ($452), which is 1.5 times the average personal annual income there.
And second, is the speculation that gender imbalance will raise the value of Chinese females and how it can influence the attitude of men towards women:
However, it has also been argued that the increased value of women could have a negative side, especially in rural society; increased female value may not benefit the woman herself, but rather the males around her. Her father, husband, and in-laws all hold her value, so when her value increases her life is more controlled by them.
Not a scholar, Crystal Tao