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Beijing, China  — China’s rigid one-child policy is leaving an unexpected legacy — a nationwide wife shortage. Chinese news media are reporting that the country now faces a “major threat” from a demographic imbalance which will leave millions of men without wives. The one-child policy, which has been decried as a major human rights violation by activist groups throughout the world, has triggered the twin tragedies of female infanticide and abortion. China now has about 117 boys for every 100 girls, with nearly 13 million more boys than girls under the age of nine. By the year 2020, China could have some 40 million men who cannot find wives—a disturbing development which could have devastating implications for Chinese society for generations to come.
[, 19May04]