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Beauty Tax For Foreigners Marrying Chinese Women


Chinese count money

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.

Demographers predict that 30 to 40 million young Chinese men of the marriageable age won’t find wives in 2020 and China will become the biggest “country of bachelors” in the world.

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.

Chinese strategic resources

Four China's strategic resources: oil, rare earths, pandas and beautiful girls

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

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29 comments to Beauty Tax For Foreigners Marrying Chinese Women
  • China has lots and lots of beautiful women. They’re just not languishing in the small countryside villages where the men have to stay because of their obligations to their parents.

  • China dug it’s own grave on this one. Now they have to deal with their short-sighted policies. And making people pay extra to get married won’t bring their women back.

  • Did they ever come to the thought that the reason there is a shortage of women is China is because of the preference for male children? If Chinese parents didn’t care what gender their children will be, maybe China’s sex ratio will be more balanced. Foreigners have little to do with this problem. There are around 600 million(?) women in China, how many of them go off seeking foreign men?

  • Django

    Why is it that Chinese men are so thin-skinned about women dating/marrying laowai? Of all the countries I’ve been to I’ve never seen men get so defensive about foreign men “preying” on their women. Of course when they see a mixed couple one of the first thing that comes out of their mouths is “she is ugly” or “she could only find a foreigner that would accept her”. If that’s the case then why would they care? Let the laowai thin out the uglies to leave more lovely ones for them. I think it says a lot about their insecurities in regards to foreigners as well as attitudes towards women.

    • That’s wrong to think that most Chinese men would agree with this article.
      What I omitted from the original post were the comments of Chinese netizens.
      Out of more than forty replies there was NOT EVEN ONE which agreed with this proposal. Everyone called the author “idiot” and “jerk” and wondered how such paper could be published in 21st century.
      < ...>
      It doesn’t mean, however, that there is no chance for such law to be implemented.

      • scarlet

        Well, it is impossible to enforce at least, the woman may simply marry then renounce her Chinese citizenship. All this means is the couple will never return to China and the girl is gone forever. If he wants to keep them in China, just suggest to give out residency permits to spouses.

        I think the “Currently, he is an independent scholar and writer.” says it all, just some silly crackpot.

      • Django

        I’m not saying that the majority of Chinese men would agree with this article. What I’m saying is this is symptomatic of a very common sentiment among Chinese men. They are very sensitive to “their” women being with foreigners. I know a number of guys who would not date a chinese woman if she had a previous laowai boyfriend. I also know several women who would never reveal to their significant other that they had been with a foreigner for fear of being dumped. This article makes little sense but the motivation behind it is what I find the most interesting part.

  • ziccawei

    Crystal, you mention how Chinese females will gain more value and this is a pertinent point. The thing is, I think that Chinese women have become more of a commodity in the last ten years or so. They ‘commodify’ themselves too, where they regard selling themselves off as normal, proper behaviour. This coincides with the whole ‘shengnu’ thing where young women (or rather their parents) ‘sell’ themselves to a guy who has house/car/money/etc etc.

    I have heard more than a few Chinese guys complain that Shanghai girls in particular are very materialistic and only interested in wealth and material gain. They also complain of foreign guys ‘stealing’ their women. I would say that for the most part Shanghai girls are usually not interested in foreign guys. I have heard many Chinese girls (from outside of Shanghai) talk about this, but I think usually Shanghai girls are like Jewish girls – they only want one of their own kind.

    But the writer does make some valid points. It’s a bit crazy. There are thousands of villages in China where dozens of men in each village cannot seem to find a wife while in Shanghai there are thousands of girls destined to be single forever. Of course the two groups are completely incompatible.

    The One Child Policy of course is to blame. The biggest man-made social engineering disaster we will ever witness.

    2020 – thousands of single men causing social unrest in small villages and thousands of single girls in Shanghai going on endless shopping trips to get over the fact that they will never meet Mr Right.

    Totally crazy……..

  • Jay K.

    Me bagging a “fugly” in this country, as a laowai I am proud to say my “old lady” is from Dalian who went to a fine university in Beijing…cough Top 3 in the country..cough..cough..

    i am proud to say the locals look at me more with jealousy than shock for being able to get one with brains and beauty at the same time… brains and beauty are a deadly combination..this is probably why she controls the family money…sigh

  • Ed en Vadrouille

    Clearly what China has in excess is scholars with outdated and outlandish vision of the past who are all too happy to blurt out a few scandalous ideas once in a while to try and get recruited somewhere.
    This guy is doing a shameless use of his fellow countrymen’s skin-deep taboo/fear for his own personal gain. That’s nasty politics…

    On a side note, I can report that from Taiwan, the problem is NOWHERE near the same. In fact up to 17% of Taiwanese marriages are happening with a wife from SEA or China. Some guys do grumble about foreigners being with local girls, but never dare to write it out or say it to our faces.

  • I’d have to agree with everything everyone has said so far, but add one further point:

    Perhaps if certain men didn’t define other human beings (i.e. women) as a ‘resource’ they wouldn’t all be leaving in droves.

    Chinese leave China for many reasons, marriage is just a small percentage by comparison. As far as I remember some years ago, the American embassies percentage of Chinese students (male and female) who after studying in America never go back to China to live, is around an astounding ‘ninety three percent’.

    They even use the figure as a question in the study visa interview: “bearing in mind 93% of Chinese students who go to study in America never return to live in China, why should I believe you will return?”.

    I welcome every Chinese male to marry a western female; good luck to them is what I say. :smile:

    • The figure that I heard was about 70% (not 93%).

      • I’m going back to around 2007. I definitely remember it being in the nineties. Having said that, I’ve searched around for that official figure before and not managed to find it.

        If you ever come across it, let me know…as I’d be really interested to see it.

      • Bored in Melbourne

        In Australia a large percentage also would like to stay, however in my observation it tends towards more of the female students. I am not totally sure why (I will ask my PhD student researcher lady if she knows) but I have observed the girls tend to cope with adapting to the new culture easier. I can understand that Chinese girls might find it tough through considering the strong emphasis face and network, where most have little in the way of connections here professionally and are not prepared to accept starting from the bottom as a graduate where back in China personal connections will give them a fast track.

        The expectation that a local education will give foreign student easy visa status here has been a problem and was the cause of a riot a couple of years ago in my city when a large group of Indian students realised they have been lied to by migration agents back in their home country who took them money promising they would be welcome in Australia after completing a low level course. I had no sympathy at all as they were only trying to cheat the system and ‘buy’ themselves here anyway.

        • scarlet

          I have noticed that too, I think women find it a little easier to cope with being FOB since there is not so much societal expectation for a woman to be cool, witty and locally savvy in order to make friends. Also I think if a woman is being paid AU$3,000 a month as a secretary rather than RMB¥10,000 as a manager that is good, since it is more money she can live more comfortably but a man would see it as a hit to prestige.

  • Bored in Melbourne

    As the Chinese view of beauty can be somewhat different to a westerner it’s not really a problem that they often judge the woman with a foreigner as unattractive. Of course in many cases I also see some quite unattractive western men who have managed to be punching above their weight in terms of the quality of often younger Asian girl they have as a partner.

    However I think there could be more to the good looking Chinese girl staying with the local men case, and it is probably something that Ziccawei alluded to, they don’t always truly have a preference to the western men at all. For me I see it as 2 factors, the first bein,g cultural familiarity and understanding, there is of course a large comfort in easily being able to communicate with your partner and have them understand why you do things the way you do and you share a view of the world. The 2nd issue I think is that great looking girls are often the princess type. They get an easier run through life and they expect it. Many western men, myself especially, do not tolerate princess behaviour and all that crap that the Chinese men think is normal including the high cost of maintaining a princess I simply see as a joke. These girls soon learn that if they want a wet fish partner who does everything they expect, on average they are better off sticking to the Chinese boys.

  • Bored in Melbourne

    I guess the author knows little about the true strategic assets of the world beyond the rubbish promoted by the CCP. Pandas, although a symbol of China and certainly a species worthy of saving, do not qualify. China does not have massive oil reserves, and so called rare earth minerals are in most cases hardly rare at all, the only rarity being the resources to process them, but following the diplomatic fallout with Japan the rest of the world are quickly developing their own rare earth mineral supply, so that leaves that supposed strategic asset off the list as well now.

    With such a massive population of girls who evidently prefer their own men, it seems they have nothing to worry about as soon as they stop aborting or killing off the females.

  • korean_guy

    Beauty tax? Sounds like state sponsored discrimination that can actually be possible in China. Why not give Chinese couples significant monetary incentives when a daughter is born? Chinese women is fast becoming a rare commodity in China.

  • TLB

    “In the next 50 years China might face the danger of extinction.” What I’ve read is that China will take over the world in the next 50 years. I guess between the two we have all the bases covered. (oops, sorry for the baseball allusion for all who don’t get it)

    something else shocked me here if it’s correct:

    “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″

    Is that correct? If so, and unless a geneticist can tell me that the chances of having a boy go up dramatically after having a girl, it looks like there is serious *manipulation* going on to make sure the second child is a boy if the first was a girl (even more than might be going on with the first child). Terrifying…

    • Yes, these statistics are TRUE.
      And “manipulation” you mean is reality – it is called sex-selective abortion.
      This is not news for China, India and some other countries as well.

      What frightens me more is that the infant mortality in China is higher among girls than among boys (contrary to the rest of the world!) – and this is already not abortions, this is infanticide.

      So, to summarize the situation of females in China from fertilization to death:
      1) sex selective abortions
      2) higher infant mortality rate compared to males –> infanticide
      3) higher rate of suicides (China being the only country in the world with such statistics)

      By the way, one statistics which I feverishly want to find is the incidence of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in China by gender. Everywhere in the world SIDS is higher among boys. I won’t be surprised if in China it is higher among girls – since in many cases SIDS is a “curtain” for silent infanticide.

      • I have read that SIDS is less common in China, so finding those stats would be interesting.

        I like your suggestion of subsidies for having girls — money might decrease #1 and #2 on your list. It would have to be enough to offset the reasons that exist for aborting and for infanticide.

    • ziccawei

      “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″

      This is the really terrifying thing. That the second child boy-girl ratio.

      It will be insane in ten years time.

  • David

    Why does it not surprise me that the President of Belarus decided on a solution that attempts to restrict the freedom and reduce the economic opportunities of beautiful Belarusian women?

    Tyranny is a hard habit to break.

  • pasquinada

    In conclusion, they’re butthurt about foreigners marrying their women and use this as an excuse to try and stop it. Nothing a few waves of immigration won’t solve. A bit of diversity will do China good, and I don’t mean white people.

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