• China's gender imbalance has resulted in bachelor surplus.

China's gender imbalance has resulted in bachelor surplus. (Photo : Reuters)

Chinese economist and professor Xie Zuoshi has suggested that China should resort to normalizing polyandry, the practice of allowing women to have more than one husband, in order to solve the gender imbalance in the country, according to a report by the Paper, a news outlet based in Shanghai.

The economist said that the only other option is for Chinese men to marry partners from abroad.

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By 2020, there will be 30-35 million single men of prime marrying age, severely outnumbering women of the same age, according to Xie.

Xie also said that wealthier men have a better chance of finding a partner than those in the working class, so it would be practical for poorer men to share a wife.

The economist also argues that China should consider legalizing gay marriage. He said that there are thousands of gay men who marry women because of pressure from their families, which ties women into relationships that will not lead to a happy life.

Additionally, Xie suggested that prostitution be legalized so that men who could not find a wife would at least be able to satisfy their sexual needs.

"It's a fact that we can't do anything about it in the short term. Clearing out the men is more important than leaving too many single men. If society is unwilling to accept any of these solutions, we will only be left with social instability," said Xie.

Netizens have reacted violently to Xie's proposal. "This is ridiculous. I can't believe that you are a college professor," one netizen said.

Fellow academics have also expressed their opposition to Xie's proposal.

Regarding the article wherein Xie expressed his views, Dong Fan, a professor at Beijing Normal University, said, "This is a disputable article, and the point of argument is based on economic morality rather than economic principles."

Yang Jianhua, dean of the Zhejiang Academy of Social Sciences, said that academics need to be wary of using their field to analyze issues outside of their expertise, which often results in implausible conclusions.