The Corner

Asia Imploding

I am continually impressed by Nicholas Eberstadt’s ability to reveal the cultural and political significance of demography. Eberstadt’s lead piece in the current issue of Policy Review, “Power and Population in Asia,” is fascinating from any number of angles. Forget about the so-called population explosion. The real news is the world-wide population implosion. I knew about the declining fertility rate in Europe. That has everything to do with the war on terror, immigration, and the increasing rift between Europe and America. What I didn’t know about was the decline of population across Eurasia. The developing meltdown of the former Soviet Union is only part of the story. The China angle was completely new to me, and deeply interesting. Note particularly the problem of Chinese sex ratio imbalance. A combination of the traditional Chinese preference for sons, China’s “one child policy,” and sex-selective abortion means that huge numbers of Chinese men will soon be unable to find wives. The social-political implications could be great. This many sided article is an eye-opener.

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