By the year 2020, there will be 30 million more men than women of marriageable age in this giant empire, so large and so different (its current population is 1,336,410,000) that it often feels more like a separate planet than just another country. Nothing like this has ever happened to any civilisation before.
The nearest we can come to it is the sad shortage of men after the First World War in Britain, France, Russia and Germany, and the many women denied the chance of family life and motherhood as a result.
The Chinese state, never having intended this result and increasingly alarmed by it, is now using all its huge propaganda resources to try to stop the slaughter of unborn girls.
But it will be hard to fight against the cold hard prejudice in favour of sons and against daughters, rooted in a prehistoric belief that sons will care for their aged parents while daughters will cost money in dowries, and desert to the families into which they marry.