Local governments in the eastern province of Shandong could fail their annual appraisals if they don't curb growing sex ratio imbalances, the provincial government has said.
Shandong has a population of 90 million, with a higher-than normal sex ratio, according to a report by the general office of the provincial government.
The ratio, or proportion of males to females, is believed to be normal when 106 boys are born for every 100 girls.
Influenced by the traditional belief that boys carry forward the family bloodline, many couples show a strong preference for boys.
"In some counties, the sex ratio reaches 110, which means 110 boys are born for 100 girls," said an official with the general office.
To curb the growing sex ratio, the province decided to include the sex ratio in the assessment criteria for governments at all levels.
If a government fails to keep the gender ratio in its area within designated limits, it fails its annual assessment, meaning officials will lose awards and chances of promotion.
Shandong's targets are a population of 95.15 million with a sex ratio of 109 by next year.
(Xinhua News Agency February 20, 2008)