ON THE STREETS OF CHINA
Since 1979, China, unlike any other country in the world has undertaken a
systematic, socially and politically enforced policy to stabilize its
population.  One Child Policy in a country of 1.2 BILLION people seems like
a policy wrought of desperation...and it is. Since its inauguration, the policy
has prevented an estimated 350-400 million births, easily the size of the
current United States population.

Yet, the  history of Chinese life has focused on farming; farming needs
hands; more children, more hands.  Male babies grow up and provide
support for their parents during their "golden years".  Without a social
security system, to have only a single child born to each family, especially
if it is a girl, is a terrible hardship.  Surveys show, however, that 75% of the
Chinese people support this policy.

Walking the streets of Beijing, X'ian or Shanghai one can note one
common feature.  There seem to be more boy babies and each of them is
tended more carefully than are little girls.  

Boys are carried, counseled, whispered to and as, as we might say,
"spoiled".  By every measurement of observation, boys are favored...are
more important...are essential to family reproductive satisfaction.

AND YET, the results of this policy has now produced a long history of
abortion of girl babies and a huge surplus of boy babies...by the year 2020,
there will be 30 million more boy children than female children.  

The result is clear: while the most valued sex in a child is a male, the most
valuable sex in a child is female....because they are in very short supply.

By 2020, thirty million males in China are going to be without wives and
one can only speculate what this may mean to generational social fabric
and the much desired harmony that China seeks in its society.
BOYS....THE MOST DESIRED PRODUCT OF
CHILDBIRTH
One Child Policy: each Han married couple may have one child.
     a. lose a child...have another; defective child, have another
b. marry a person with child...you lose your option
     c. couples who are from minorities (non-Han) can have two    
d. individual with no siblings can have two children
     e. earthquake children lost may be replaced

Enforcement: legal, political and community
     a. fines for violation
b. financial rewards for compliance
     c. informal exceptions in rural areas               
d.  neighborhood watch to bring public pressure

Some of the Consequences Seen Already:
     a. Ninety Percent of all children in orphanages are female.

b. Adoption of children outside the country has been significantly restricted by China
     
     c. A common "scam" in China has a woman demanding a huge pre-marriage payment
from a man.  Women are in such short supply already that men pay this fee....then the
woman disappears.

d. There is a decisive, measurable increase in the cultural appreciation for girls.  Modern
families are increasingly happy to have them, to keep them and to care for them.
THE MOST VALUABLE PEOPLE IN
CHINA....GIRLS.
WHERE THE BOYS
ARE !
GOODS AND PEOPLE...GETTIN'
AROUND...HAVING FUN
HAS THE LION SEEN THE EMPEROR?  YES OR
NO?
TYPICAL SERVING STYLE: LAZY SUSAN SERVES
EIGHT
PAINTED BARKS KEEP TEMPERATURES
COOLER THAN INSECTS LIKE.
SPLIT PANTS POLICY IS A LONG TRADITION IN CHINA. AVOIDS HARSH
TERMPERATURES IN SUMMER AND KEEPS LANDFILLS MORE USEFUL.  
STYLE IS CHANGING HOWEVER.
ANOTHER FORM OF EXERCISE...AND WE
GOT PLENTY OF IT.!

I estimate that we climbed and descended 10,000
stair steps, and I know that we walked 120,000
steps because my pedometer told me so.
MY KNEES WERE NOT HAPPY.  BUT I
WAS!
NINTH ARCH BRIDGE AT SUMMER PALACE.
WHETHER YOU START COUNTING FROM THE LEFT OR THE RIGHT,
THE MIDDLE ARCH IS THE NINTH ONE.  NINE IS A GOOD NUMBER
FOR CHINESE.
CIXI HAD THIS MARBLE BOAT BUILT AT THE SUMMER
PALACE. IT IS PERMANENTLY MOORED OF COURSE, AND
COST 30 MILLION TALENTS OF SILVER...ENOUGH TO BUILD
A COUPLE OF SHIPS FOR HER INADEQUATE NAVY.  
Bicycles are everywhere on the steets of
Beijing, X'ian, Shanghai...but not Chongqing
where the old city streets are too narrow and
hilly.