The sex ratio of infants in China is within the international normal standard, said Xu Shaoshi, deputy director of the National Working Committee for Women and Children under the State Council and deputy secretary-general of the State Council, at a press conference held yesterday by the State Council Information Office.
According to the international standard on the sex ratio, when 100 female infants are born, there will usually be 100-107 male infants born at the same time. The 5th population census in China shows that the ratio of male infants to female infants is slightly higher than before, but still within the normal standard.
The phenomenon has resulted from complicated social and cultural background, according to Mr. Xu. First, the notion of valuing men and belittling women still exists in traditional Chinese culture. Secondly, as a developing country, the social security system, such as commercial insurance, is not yet developed enough to meet the public requirement. Many families, especially those in rural areas, still hold such traditional ideas as raising sons to help parents when they grow old. Thirdly, it is also the case that some people take advantage of modern medical technique to abort selectively. Fourthly, some female infants may not be timely registered due to inefficient statistical and operational means.
Xu emphasized that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the problem. Many measures have been taken over the past decade. The government, on one hand, actively promotes the awareness of the sex equality among the masses; on the other hand, it has enacted the relevant laws, such as "the Law on the Protection of Maternal and Child Health Care," to forbid any people from selective abortion by using gender-distinguishing means.
Besides, the government will take effective measures to solve problems existing in families without sons.
When asked to explain the significance of the environment building in the "National Program of Action for Children's Development in the 1990s," Liu Hairong, office director of National Working Committee for Women and Chidren under the State Council, said that the environment mentioned in the program comprises two aspects: one is social environment and the other the natural environment. The social environment refers to the atmosphere of legislation, policy-making and formation of public opinion on child development as well as regard for social ethics. To better the natural environment, the government will make more appropriation for improving education, sanitation conditions and spiritual life for children by drawing up relevant laws.
Children are the future and hope of mankind. Children's survival, protection and development are the basis for improving the quality of the population and the prerequisite conditions for the advance of mankind.
On the press conference, Xu also introduced that the 5th East Asia & Pacific Ministerial Consultation on Shaping the Future for Children will be held from May 14 to 16, 2001 in Beijing.
(www.china.org.cn by Liu Yuming 04/28/2001)