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Just one day after hitting the 1.3 billion population mark, Chinese officials say they will ban sex-selection abortions in order to curb the growing gender imbalance problem caused by the country’s coercive one-child population control policy.

According to the 2000 census, there were about 117 males to 100 females in China and the latest government statistics show it at 119 to 100. For second births, occasionally allowed in rural areas, the national ratio was about 152 to 100. The average rate worldwide is 106 boys born for every 100 girls and girls are born more often than boys in some industrialized nations.

Zhang Weiquing, a minister in charge of family planning, told the official Xinhua news agency, “The government takes it as an urgent task to correct the gender imbalance of newborns.”
[7Jan05,, Beijing, China]