08 September, 2017

China troubles with male’s surplus

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The family institution has become the biggest issue for China. The country had a one-child policy until 2015 when the Chinese government revoked it. Now China faces another biggest negative trend – marriage rate has been declining.

According to BBC, not only parents but also the government is in worry of its consequences.

“After a whole decade of increases in the national marriage rate, China witnessed its second year of decline in the number of newly registered unions in 2015, with a 6.3% drop from 2014 and 9.1% from 2013. This was accompanied by a rise in the age of marriage, which has increased by about a year and a half in the first ten years of this century”, reports Xuan Li for BBC,

Although law banned the traditional way of arranged marriage in 1950, parents still concern their children’s future fiancé. They consistently try to involve the marital decisions. The Chinese government is planning to solve the issue by persuading young people to marry.

As BBC reports, “In 2007, the Ministry of Education publicly shamed women who were 27 years or older as “leftover women”, urging them to lower “unrealistic” standards during their search for a partner. While still alive and well in the public discourse to refer to both genders, the term “leftover” has been criticised by scholars and resisted by young women”.

Moreover, the government canceled the extra seven-day honeymoon leave that had been granted to couples who married "late" (older than 25 years for men, and 23 years for women).

The reason that the state has been concerned is gender inequality. The difference in size between men and women is growing and today China has millions of male surplus. The exact number of these “leftover” men is hard to count. Global Times reported the amount of “lone” male is around 24 million, while China Daily gives 33 million as the number of unmarried men. Experts Huang Wenzheng and Liang Jianzhang told People’s Daily that the one-child policy heavily influenced on this imbalance in gender ratio. Chinese people favor boys than a girl as other Asian nations and this is one of the main causes of this inequality. 270 million artificial abortions registered from 1971 to 2012, according to People’s Daily.

 However, the drop of marriage rate is not only China’s big issue. A similar trend was undergone all over the world. The United States, most OECD nations, and Japan have faced akin problems. It is true for Kazakhstan as well. According to the Committee on statistics of the state, the marriage rate is declining. While 168,417 new couples were registered in 2013, whereas the number declined to 148,769 in 2015. However, the divorce rate is increasing, by 53,293 (2015) from 52,673 (2014).

Last year after the land reform protests, a famous poet claimed that nearly 24 000 Kazakh girls married to Chinese men. However, this is far from the truth. The Committee on statistics revealed from around 54,000 mixed marriage, only 700 of them knotted with Chinese people. The head of the ministry of Information and communication Dauren Abayev earlier this year stated that only 353 Kazakh girls went to China during 2010 and 2016. However, 190 of them married with Chinese-born Kazakhs. Despite this fact, China has one of the biggest mixed marriage rates in the world. The study published in China Information in 2013 reported that Chinese people are likely to marry Hong Kong (264,000), Taiwan (133,000) and Makao (17,000) citizens.

The scarcity of female in the native country makes Chinese bachelors to seek a partner in other nations, even though the future bride might be from different religion and ethnic. Given that Chinese business companies are flourishing in other states, it is quite possible that some of Chinees workers will marry to local women. But does it solve the demographical problems of China is another issue. 

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