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China has arrested 26,000 for trading women, children

BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese police have arrested 26,000 people for abducting and selling women and children over the past two years, a state-run newspaper reported Tuesday.

Police rescued 23,000 women and 4,260 children who were abducted and sold, and broke up some 8,000 kidnapping gangs between 1996 and 1998, the China Women's News said.The newspaper said the number of abduction and people-selling cases has fallen since 1992, without providing comparative figures.

A higher ratio of men to women in China's countryside has created a market for wives.

Strict family planning policies that limit many families to one child have also created a demand for sons, traditionally valued over daughters by rural families. Some abducted women are sold into prostitution.