China has by far the greatest gender imbalance of any nation in the world, with conservative estimates from 2014 putting the ratio at 115.8 males to every 100 females.
The peak body responsible for family planning in the country, the National Health and Family Planning Commission, this week made its strongest statement yet on the crisis.
In a document published on the commission’s website, officials wrote, “China's sex imbalance problem among newborns is the most serious and prolonged in the world and the population it affects is the greatest”. They noted that there are over 33 million more men than women in the country.
Statistics published by the commission, suggest that the ratio has dropped from 121.18 in 2014 to 115.8 last year. Nevertheless, as the commission itself admits, “the gender ratio at birth is still dangerously high”.
There is an extant domestic ban on the use of blood testing to determine the sex of a fetus, but many Chinese couples are attempting to send their blood samples out of the country to be analysed by overseas agencies. In their statement last week, commission officials vowed to crack down on the practice, and reminded medical staff that carrying, mailing or transporting blood samples abroad is illegal.
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