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The Chinese (possibly my silliest question so far ;))

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posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 10:11 PM
Why are the Chinese the most numerous nation in the world?

Even if they were by far the most fertile nation (like, genetically or something) - and historic statistical data don't seem to indicate anything of the kind - it still wouldn't account for a numeric preponderance of such magnitude.

I am sure there some good explanations out there, but right now I'd rather hear your opinions.

(N.B. And, L., if you are reading this: "because they have the biggest land" is NOT the reason - rather, it's the consequence...

[edit on 3-3-2008 by Vanitas]

posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 06:32 AM
because they're always horny?

posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 07:00 AM
Not sure this is the silliest question I have seen on ATS.

You have to look back to the culture of China. Parents typically wanted many sons to look after then in the later years and to continue the family line.

if they had daughters, they would continue trying until sons appeared. Of course families wanted to marry the daughters off so they would become the responsability of their new husbands. Many daughters typically leds to more children and so the cycle continues.

China in more recent times imposed a limited at 2 children (stand to be corrected) for each family so in the longer term this may lead to a reduction.

And with proper management, China has had the ability to feed vast numbers of its citizens and contented citizens will breed.

This all seems very simple and I know I have over simpified the answer.

posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 01:58 PM
Thank you, both of you.
(No, really.

Yes, I have considered their cultural traditions - within my limited knowledge about them, of course - and it just adds to the puzzle. Yes, they had many daughters, I suppose: but killing baby girls (often by exposure) was a very wide-spread practice - and it surely didn't promote a demographic boom.

It's a strange puzzle.
I wish more people would think about it.
Maybe you're right and it isn't all that silly, after all. ; )

[edit on 4-3-2008 by Vanitas]

posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 02:08 PM
As far as Wiki can be taken seriously, in 2100bce there were 12000000 Chinese. Thats a lot for ancient times. Plus the fact China has very high culture and suceeded to "convert" even its conquerors to Chinese.
So my bid - Chinese civilisation was the earliest one that succeded to maintain cultural integrity + same motherland for the whole history.
Having few rival civilisations of similar magnitude also helped.

posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 02:13 PM

So my bid - Chinese civilisation was the earliest one that succeded to maintain cultural integrity + same motherland for the whole history.
Having few rival civilisations of similar magnitude also helped.

Interesting, ZeroKnowledge.

P.S. Oh heck, I might as well just tell you how this thread even entered my mind: a friend who is - unlike yours truly - very much into conspiracy theories and such, said that the reason for their huge numbers is that (I am quoting verbatim now)... "they were here first".

("Here" meaning the planet Earth, needless to say. ; ))

I am not exactly enamoured of this extraterrestrial theory, to put it mildly.

But I do feel I own it to myself - in the name of intellectual honesty and personal integrity - to find out a more reasonable explanation.

And the fact is, when I smiled at his theory, I realised... I didn't really had one.


[edit on 4-3-2008 by Vanitas]

posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 12:47 PM
Any other ideas...?
(I always bump with a reason. To apologise for my previous typos is just one of them...

[edit on 22-3-2008 by Vanitas]

posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 02:37 PM
I think china being such a big country could be a factor, I mean if it was split into lots of smaller countries and the population spread between them would they still seem as numerous?

Also the most populated cities in the world are in india and pakistan, and if you look at countries ranked by population only india comes close to china, being only 193 million behind china

193 million!!
i hear you cry

this may seem a lot untill you look at the 3rd most populated country, the USA, which is over 1 BILLION people behind china, and nearly 800 million behind india.

So maybe the same thing that causes the high population in china can also be found in india and a study of the 2 countries may reveal it......

then again maybe not

posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 02:41 PM
Sorry for double post....but the part about me saying it could be the size of the country may hold some truth.

If you look at countries by population density China is ranked 75 and India is ranked 33. This means although they have high populations they are spread out over a massive area, with countries like Italy and the UK having higher population density.

Also, with India being ranked higher in population density and being the closest country in population size to china, perhaps it is something within india that is the key to your question

[edit on 22-3-2008 by owzitgarn]

[edit on 22-3-2008 by owzitgarn]

posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 08:02 PM
Well Vanitas, it's actually a quite valid question you put there. I had to do several minutes of thinking myself to come up with an answer.

Despite China have had a century of war, social turmoil and experimentation, famine and at least half a century of strict birthcontrol, it has turned out successful and it is not antibiotics alone (but one of the major factors) that has done it.

What are factors that counts in the survival game are belief and willpower. As an example I'll give the Gaza strip. It's one of the most densely populated places on earth, as it obviously is one of the most insecure. However demographically it is one of the most successful.

Last time I checked --and I admit it is more than decade ago-- it was the place with the highest population increase on earth. This tells that it's not security and prosperity that does it. You can take the major Western European nations as an example of that, they are in the negative of population increase.

What is it then? To me it only leaves one factor for demographic success, a belief in self, the will not to give in.

posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 04:41 PM
reply to post by khunmoon

Thanks, Khunmoon.

But here's the thing (and I may be totally wrong about this): it makes sense, of course, that they have a very high demographic growth rate NOW - despite their decades-long policy of allowing only one child per family. (!)

After all, several hundred millions of families producing even just one child still amounts to several hundred millions of new Chinese.

But the question that's still nagging me (since that remark from an acquaintance of mine that I mentioned before) is, to put in very simplified terms: how did they get to the point of there being "so many" Chinese before Mao and his restrictive measures - throughout ancient history?

But there have been some good replies here, and I am thankful for them.

None of them, of course, sway my acquaintance's opinion: he is adamant that the reason for their multitude is that (and I quote again) ""they were here first".

posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 04:47 PM
I am currently reading a book called "American Shaolin" of an american who set out to learn buddhism and kungfu in china. Yesterday I read the following: The Chinese have sayings like: "The more sons you have the happier you are".

So, believing that the more kids you have, the happier you are...has what results?

The author also says that birth control is not enforced as strongly in the country as in the city.

[edit on 25-3-2008 by Skyfloating]

posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 05:18 PM
China has for many centuries relied heavily of its rural classes of peasants tilling the soil.

Such a decentralised agrarian economy means that the farmers want more children to work the farms. Hence they have more children.

Exponential growth ensues.

You can see the same thing in India.

posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 10:37 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

Yes, but it seems that the "sons" who are supposed to make you happy were, literally, just that - sons.
Not daughters.
(I'd rather not remember the horrors I've read about all those exposed female infants...)

That's one of the things I've always found very difficult to understand: how could the Chinese, of all people, who showed so much insight in the "order of things" and even wisdom in other domains neglect to see that without females there would be no "sons"... or much of anything else.

posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 10:40 PM
reply to post by 44soulslayer

So it would seem that they did have a much (much, much) greater demographic growth rate than most other nations, after all?

posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 10:59 PM
It's very simple really, and the same goes for India.

Only recently have people been able to afford TV's in their homes, what do you think they did all night before that?

Having a big family shows wealth and prosperity, But then so does having a fat husband and fat kids... apparently!

Time could also be a factor, being as the Chinese have had a social structure for over 4000 years. Yes they have had many wars between "states" but they have also had long periods of peace.

It is also a very natural human instinct to have many offspring, thus putting your genes out there. The same applies in the animal kingdom does it not?


posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 05:31 AM
Vanitas: In all the "sayings" that various cultures have there are a lot of not-so-good things that can be ingrained into the psyche.

Its a shame.

posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 09:33 AM
Yes absolutely. China and India have always had this system of Franklin-esque agrarian freedom.

Their peasants were never feudalised or subjugated hence they took a lot of care about their farmlands. They had an incentive to put hard work into their farms, because their farms were owned by them.

Not to mention, China (and India) has vast tracts of agrarian land available.

These two giants have always had a much larger population than anywhere else in the world. I posit its because of this availability of farmland, and the temperate climate along with the monsoon.

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