China’s Future: A Nation Of Single Men? – Joshua Kurlantzick

From Los Angeles Times:

On a smoggy morning in Lanzhou, a gritty industrial city in China’s Gansu province, crowds of young men gather outside a half-built construction site. Dressed in torn jeans and dirty shirts and carrying thermoses of tea, they push toward the exterior fence, jostling for the attention of a site manager who hands out short-term jobs. Most of the men are unmarried and have no families. Finding no work, they drift away from the site and, by midday, congregate at a riverside park, where they trade tea for large bottles of beer, which they gulp down. Many of them soon stumble in circles.

Lanzhou exemplifies a more insidious, possibly more dangerous threat to China’s development than financial imbalances, environmental disasters or unemployment: The People’s Republic has too many men. Today, roughly 120 boys are born in China for every 100 girls, perhaps the worst in modern human history. Within 15 years, the country may have 30 million men who cannot find wives. That could mean serious trouble. [Full Text]

Joshua Kurlantzick is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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