Just found this article from the NYT, dated January 31, 2005, about the baby steps China's government is taking to alleviate a demographic crisis caused, inadvertently, by the longstanding one-child policy: a severe shortage of girls. In Fujian province for example, thanks to gender screening and selective abortion, there are 134 boys born for every 100 girls, way above the global ratio of 105:100.
Promotional campaigns, educational and other perks for girls, and even pension bonuses for girl-only families haven't shifted the longstanding cultural preference for boys:
Officials used the recent birth of the country's 1.3 billionth citizen as a propaganda vehicle to laud government efforts to slow population growth. The eight-pound baby, born in January, was a boy. His first bath was nationally televised.China Starts to Give Girls Their Due [nyt, via scholastic upfront]
Asked about the honor, Zhang Tong, the father, could have been describing the different parental attitudes toward sons and daughters. "I am the happiest guy in the world," Zhang told the state news media, "and my boy will be blessed all his life."