Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China’s Emerging Migration Issue: Wife Hunting [Voice of America] #China #Migration #GenderImbalance #OneChildPolicy

Voice of America on the consequences of China’s sex imbalance – partly due to policy, partly due to long embedded cultural favouritism. The result – mass internal migration from rural to urban areas for mate ‘hunting‘. Will it be able to rise peacefully unto itself?

As China continues to rise however, and as its middle class booms and fans outward of the metaphorical Great Wall… I feel this is eventually more a problem for host nations than for China itself. Its long history of sojourning Chinese only continues.

‘Normal birth ratios are 105 males for every 100 females. But in China, it is now about 120 to 100. Mara Hvistendahl says China has some history dealing with migration and sex imbalance.’

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China’s Emerging Migration Issue: Wife Hunting
Source – Voice of America, published December 20, 2012

Photo source - AP, in Voice of America, 2012

Photo source – AP, in Voice of America, 2012

The migration of people from one area to another has historically been related to some aspect of survival. In China, however, experts are looking at a phenomenon often overlooked as a cause for mass migration – men looking for a mate.

Chinese culture has always favored sons. But combining that preference with a one-child policy that has sought to control population growth and an advancement in technology that boosted safe abortions, China today has a population that is greatly skewed towards males.

The Population Reference Bureau based in Washington estimates China now has 41 million bachelors who will not have women to marry. That number is growing by some estimates to 55 million in less than 10 years. Many men in China are now moving, mostly from rural to urban areas, to look for a wife.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at the source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 2010 National Census, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Environment, Government & Policy, History, Lifestyle, Map, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity

The Chinese Population [Visua.Ly/Chinainfographics.com]

This infographic was recently picked up by Business Insider, and it has been trending in social media. A little dated however, as this was produced in 2010. Data for Chinese cities were from 2007 while western city data was estimated from 2009. Nevertheless, helpful as a visualizer  to see size of Chinese cities relative to each other and some of those in the west.

During the last, and sixth census in 2010 by the National Bureau of Statistics of People’s Republic of China a staggering six million census workers (poignant in itself as this is more than the population for about half of the world’s countries) attempted to visit 400 million households, it was found Shanghai now stands at about 20.8 million while Beijing is about 17.3 million.

Check out a China Daily ‘Factbox’ on the census here.

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The long tail of 60 Chinese cities with an urban area population of more than one million.
Source – Visual.ly (by Chinainfographic), n.d.

Source – Visua.ly, n.d.

If you have ever been to China, you know just how crowded it is with people. However, it may still shock you to see the actual numbers behind the people of China living in its major cities. Here is a look at 60 Chinese cities whose populations are upward of one million people. Blurp from Visual.ly

Filed under: 2010 National Census, Beijing Consensus, China Daily, Chinese Model, Civil Engineering, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Finance, Infrastructure, Modernisation, Population, Property, Social, The Chinese Identity, , , , , ,

Chinese dialects vanishing in China [Straits Times]

Very unfortunate news in my personal opinion – the 2010 Census did not care to include information about native tongues/dialects, deeming it as not important. Progress and solidarity through a common language is one thing, but forgetting the lessons learnt through the formation of unique dialects is regrettable.

I for one can not speak my native tongue – Teochew, because of top-down government measures. From the Singapore model, I can attest that this vanishing of dialects can be irreversible; and it can vanish within one generation. I cannot help but feel a great sense of loss hearing this. Perhaps this will help shape a more uniform Chinese identity. Will that do much good? And perhaps, not.

Census vice-director Fang Nailin said the government decided that this piece of information was ‘not that important’.

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Chinese dialects vanishing in China
Mandarin threatening even native tongues as major as Cantonese
By Peh Shing Huei, China Bureau Chief
Source – Straits Times, published December 25, 2010

BEIJING: China’s numerous native tongues are slowly vanishing, with even major dialects spoken by tens of millions under threat from Mandarin.

The country’s three biggest cities – Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou – are seeing their mother tongues increasingly being drowned out, a trend experts believe may not be reversible.

In the Chinese capital, for example, the Beijinghua dialect, which is a close yet highly localised variant of Mandarin, is so little used that a linguist was prompted to compile a dictionary to preserve it. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 2010 National Census, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Media, Population, Social, Straits Times, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Six million to count China’s population [The Age/AFP]

The advertising for this is everywhere I go in China, and it has been communicated as both a responsibility and an obligation. It will prove challenging indeed, thanks to its floating internal migrant population – estimated at more about 211 million. My guess is there is a lot more than that. The census occurs every ten years, making this the sixth since the establishment of the PRC. We shall see if 1.4 billion people has been a conservative estimate, or otherwise.

The five cities I have visited in this trip has helped me see exactly how ‘little’ local people actually roam the cities they belong to. All one has to do it keep one’s eyes and ears wide open in the major cities. I seldom heard local dialects, nor spotted local looking people (yes the Chinese make look homogenous to unknowing observers, but there is a way to tell the difference between the people of 56 ethnicities and multitude of regional dialect groups). In Shanghai city alone, one would be hard pressed to see real Shanghainese in its blue-collared working class.

Six million census takers is one million people more than the entire population of Singapore, it is still unsettling sometimes to have this form of scale as a referent. I can hardly imagine the entire population of my home country up and about a task as monumental as this. And one last point that should be noted – ‘census takers will be able to call for police help if people refuse to take part, the official China Daily newspaper said.’

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Six million to count China’s population
Source – The Age, published November 1, 2010

China kicked off its national census on Monday with millions of counters setting out to tally the world’s biggest population, estimated last year to be over 1.3 billion, state press reported.

More than six million census takers are expected to gather the latest data on China’s population, including the nation’s unprecedented urbanisation drive and the latest results on its controversial “one child” family planning policy.

The government has promised complete confidentiality during the month-long count, although census takers will be able to call for police help if people refuse to take part, the official China Daily newspaper said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: 2010 National Census, AFP, Domestic Growth, Environment, Media, Politics, Population, Social, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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