Chinese economist proposes wife-sharing to solve country’s lopsided population divide

By @vitthernandez on
Chinese Men
Male fitness instructors and students dressed as Spartan warriors pose during a celebration of the one-year anniversary of juice company Juicedaily in front of a shopping mall in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, September 19, 2015. Picture taken September 19, 2015. Reuters/Stringer

A Chinese economist has offered an unusual solution to China's demographic problem, with projections showing that the number of unmarried Chinese men would reach 30 million by 2020.

The proposal by Xie Zuoshi, economics professor at Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, is wife-sharing.

China's gender imbalance problem was brought about by its one-child policy and the preference of Chinese families for sons over daughters, which has resulted in abortions of female foetuses. In the last 30 years, there were 24 million to 34 million more Chinese males than females, which means these men may end up being a bachelor for life.

Xie’s solution, he says, is purely from an economic point of view and not a moral one. He explains, “It’s a reality that we have so many more men than women. Serious social problems, such as rape and assaults, will happen if men cannot find wives. But it doesn’t have to be like that if they are given choices,” quotes Business Insider.

The professor insists he is not joking with his proposal of wife-sharing, or polyandry, because given the current situation, men with higher incomes have better chances of finding a bride, leaving poor men with no choice. “We cannot deprive those men of wives just to be moral,” he states.

He points out that there are cases of brothers sharing a wife in rural areas. The other options are to export brides from Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Africa, changing China’s monogamy law and allowing same-sex marriage for the millions of men who can’t find a wife.

Chinese netizens are divided on Xie’s proposal.

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