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Editorial

The lesson behind Flt MH 370

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By EMN Updated: Mar 12, 2014 12:38 am
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The agonized cry in a television news report of a Chinese man in his late 50’s hopelessly waiting for news of the fate of the missing Flight MH370 shook me out of quiet acceptance of the fate of 239 passengers on board. Four days on the flight which vanished without trace has thrown up no concrete clue despite an army of on air and on the waters armed with the latest technology to pick up any signal or signs to lead them to the beginning of unraveling the mysterious disappearance of the aircraft.
On board flight 370 were 154 Chinese, five Indians, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians and travellers from the United States, France and half a dozen other nations.
The screaming Chinese man’s son was also on the ill fated flight — still missing after the Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 jet disappeared from radar screens early Saturday morning, not long after it took off from Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.He yelled : “Time’s flying and you need to search for the people!” before wailing uncontrollably as three as three Malaysia Airlines executives and their interpreter looked on with stoic faces,Losing someone you love is painful enough. Losing a child even if you have a second can never compensate the loss a parent can feel. Imagine losing your only child.
For the Chinese man it is more certain than not that his son on board would have been his only child. Remember that the one child policy became mandatory in China since 1980 to arrest declining economic poverty .Yet despite this controversial one child policy,China continues to be the most populated country in the world.
While the tragedy of the missing plane plays out the world also need consider an equally great human tragedy being played out in the world daily.
Chinese culture has long had a strong cultural preference for boys to carry on the family name. According to long-standing tradition, once a daughter was married off, she would move in with her husband’s family and became responsible for taking care of her new family (unlike males who remain permanent family assets who can add a daughter-in-law, as well as grandchildren). Most of China’s rural residents have limited savings or pensions so need to rely on their children (traditionally many) to take care of them in old age.
As recently as 1965, Chinese women were bearing an average of six children. Today, that figure is down to 1.5 because of China’s One-Child Policy.
The One-Child Policy only applies to about 45% of China’s population. Exceptions are made to have more than one child in the countryside, where 55% of China’s population lives.
Since the policy went into effect, China has had a significant gender imbalance, an abnormal sex ratio. The imbalance steadily grew worse since ultrasound became widely available in the mid-1980s. Today, the ratio hovers around 120 boys to 100 girls (compared to a “natural” ration of about 105 boys to 100 girls around the world). Although the practice is now illegal—China banned prenatal sex screening in 1994—the problem continues (it’s still fairly easy to pay a doctor to give more subtle “coded” message regarding a fetus’ gender—a slight shake of the head, for instance).
.Up to 3 million babies are hidden from the government every year because of the One-Child Policy, according to research by Liang Zhongtang, a demographer and former member of the expert committee of China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission.
China has a “wildly skewed sex ratio” with too few females, because of the One-Child Policy. China’s sex ratio for the generation born between 1985 and 1989 was 108 (already just outside the natural range of 103-106). Today, the ratio is over 120, which is “biologically impossible without human intervention”.
By 2020, China will have 30-40 million more young men (under 19 years old) than young women, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). By 2020, “China faces the prospect of having the equivalent of the whole young male population of America, or almost twice that of Europe’s three largest countries, with little prospect of marriage, untethered to a home of their own and without the stake in society that marriage and children provide.”
By 2020, one in five young men in China will be brideless due to the “chronic shortage of potential spouses”, according to CASS. In the 20-39 age group, there will be 22 million more men than women….
It was the ‘wisdom’ of men that designed the ‘one child policy’ and then when a tragedy like MH 370 occurs humanity wonders about the existence of God or if he does exist does He care.

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By EMN Updated: Mar 12, 2014 12:38:00 am