In other sports, size is more important - and the government appears to be discreetly trying to influence this too. Top basketball coach Wang Libin says the government encouraged the exceptionally tall mother and father of Yao Ming, the 7ft 6in superstar of the American basketball league, to marry. They did the same for his own parents, and for him and his wife - both basketball players. Their daughter is only 15, but she is 6ft 4in tall and dreams of playing in the 2012 London Olympics. Now, he says, tall people are exempted from the one-child policy so that they can breed more tall offspring.Hmm. If they'll do that for a few gold medals, what might they not do for a few Nobel-winning scientists ?
UPDATE - apparently a Chinese law of 1994 provides for the compulsory sterilisation of those who carry serious genetic disorders and wish to marry. "Wish to marry", eh - how quaint and old-fashioned that sounds to a Brit. I have to assume there aren't many Ed Milibands in China. In fact :
"it is illegal in almost every province for single women to have a child and that people who have children out of wedlock must pay "social compensation fees" (29 Feb. 2009, Sec.1.f). The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) reports that those who give birth to a child outside of marriage can face fines six to eight times the amount of their income from the previous year (US 31 Oct. 2008, 97). According to a 2005 article in Reproductive Health, very few children are born out of wedlock in China (11 Aug. 2005, 3)."
I'm not surprised. But has anyone told Andy Newman ?