Print 1528 c1: Wide poverty in China is due largely to over-population and backwardness. Often a poor crop in a district means famine and death by starvation for at least one or more members in a family. The old woman and young girls are usually the first to suffer. Print 1528 c5: A bowl of rice gruel given to a starving mother and child by a pitying foreign missionary. The men folk have long since gone off to seek work in distant provinces, hoping the women and children will survive somehow until they return for the new crop-sowing. Famine in China.