April 23, 2024

Wanted: ideologically sound Chinese sperm. Willing to pay top renminbi

Must also love the socialist motherland

Eugenics – “good stock” — comes in all shapes and sizes. In China, the latest definition of what is “good” in a sperm donor may be that he “have good ideological thoughts, love the socialist motherland and support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.”

The sperm bank at Peking University Third Hospital recently placed an advertisement for donors listing these requirements along with freedom from genetic defects like baldness and colour blindness. Successful applicants – only about 19% — could earn 5,000 renminbi, about US$800, according to an article in the New York Times.

William A. Callahan, a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, told the Times that the advertisement reflected the efforts of China’s President Xi Jinping to blend science with ideology.

“Nationalism and socialism are mixing in peculiar ways to promote Chinese identity as a bloodline race,” he said. “The sperm bank announcement shows how the party increasingly dominates Chinese politics, and how nationalism increasingly is defined according to racial purity.”

The ad was mocked on social media and was eventually taken down.

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