In a recent News.com article it was revealed that the Chinese Government's own bureau of statistics has revealed that right now, there are 33.76 million more males than females in China and this means a enormous number of men without wives.
In five years time, 2020, there will be 30 million men unable to find a wife in China and this has internal machinations let alone international alarm bells.
Imagine the implications for neighbouring Asian nations. Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, North Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Myanmar, The Philippines and even Indonesia and Japan.
But highly renown Chinese economist Xie Zuoshi has a solution and has told the prudes to "get real" (not sure what the Chinese translation might be). His down to earth solution is 'wife sharing'. The reverse of 'multiple wives'.
He claims it's nothing more than an economic argument - "supply and demand is the bedrock of economics".
Professor Xie explains it this way - wealthy men will be able to afford the "high price" of women as their value increases, while poorer men will miss out on having a partner. Solution: "What about the low-income men? One way is for several men to band together to find a wife" and he believes some rural families are already adopting the idea. "In some remote and poor areas there are cases where brothers jointly marry one wife, and they can live happily and harmoniously."
The article noted that a popular dating game show called If Not Sincere Then Do Not Disturb (known as If You Are the One in Australia) allows a panel of 24 women to choose if they want to date a male contestant. It is the highest rated show on its network.
Now the counter reaction - a project manager for a woman's rights group in the country, Jing Xiong, told the BBC that the idea was "extremely ridiculous". "Prof Xie's suggestion ignores the wishes and rights of women, and casts women as tools used to satisfy men's needs for sex, marriage and reproduction ... this suggestion is basically sexual discrimination," she said.
Prof Xie rejects the notion (get real) and believes legality is beside the point and the moral alternative is far worse. "(If we) keep to the one-husband-one-wife social contract, and let 30 million bachelors have no women and no hope, they hate society, then we would have a serious social problem."
Old Testament outcomes
Even a cursory glance at the Old Testament reveals time and time again how when one group met another in battle, the winners took the males and put them to the sword and the women and children taken captive.
This point is not about right or wrong, rather it illustrates that the true value of such military victories in the ancient world was - human life in the form of women - their reproductive worth was the prize, the next generation.
It takes 20 years to see a human being come of age and should there not be enough women to keep reproducing (taking into account an equal number of births being male and female) then there is a serious problem, in that the group themselves becomes a target. Self preservation was right up there.
30,000,000 Chinese men wanting wives is no small issue. Vietnam and Myanmar are the primary targets according to the article. Authorities are alert to human trafficking and online dating scams.
China's one-child policy, coupled with a patriarchal society that leads parents to favour the birth of a son where sex-selective abortions are illegal but are nonetheless a widespread practice pose huge problems. Recently the one child policy has been changed to two children.
Practical idea 1
Professor Xie Zuoshi has come up with a basic economic suggestion – a Chinese solution. Many husbands, one wife. Such a practical solution might work in rural China but it might pose a housing complication in the cities with say 17 husbands (the statistic provided).
Thinking practical reality - they could all put in and buy a road side motel with a room each. The wife might move from one room to the next in a properly articulated roster. I saw something like this in a film years ago where the atomic nightmare had befallen mankind, and these Americas on board ship in the Antarctica were survivors with four women on board. Each of the males on board had a roster. All very sensible.
Practical idea 2
There are 64,000,000 refugees in the world, many are what perhaps might be loosely termed 'excess' women. Such of the Christian women among them faced with destitution and worse (as we're being shown on the nightly news) might jump at a new life with respect and bring their Christianity with them.
Practical idea 3
Get real. There might be nations around China or further afield who might offer marriageable aged women who are without husbands the opportunity to relocate to China and let nature takes its course. Some Christian women might see this as an opportunity of family evangelism, relocating, getting married, raising the children as Christians. It's not a new idea.
Practical idea 4
China's economic power might see millions of Chinese men working on projects across the face of the earth, settling into those countries, earning big money, finding local women to marry and settling down.
Practical idea 5
Sometimes the strangest of ideas work out. China is fast becoming the largest of all Christian nations. This means single men missionaries travelling out of China to the four quarters of the world, and one thing leads to another.
War is not a solution. Sex trafficking is not a solution. Slavery is not a solution. Christians might start praying 'seriously' for such a practical idea as number 5.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html