China says it will intensify its efforts to protect girls and address the gender imbalance of newborn babies.
There are far more boys than girls in China
A senior government official said that trafficking and abandonment of girls would be severely punished, and a ban on selective abortion reinforced.
Government figures show that 117 boys are born for every 100 girls.
The imbalance is widely believed to be a result of China's strict one-child policy. Many parents abort baby girls, hoping to try again for a boy.
"Illegal sex determination and sex-selective abortion
must be strictly banned," said Zhao Baige, the deputy director of China's National Population Commission.
"China has set the goal of lowering the sex ratio to a
normal level by 2010."
Zhao Baige said a project called Girl Care was being set up with the aim of protecting female children.
She said education campaigns would teach rural families to value
daughters as much as sons.
She also promised more support for people in rural areas who traditionally depend on their sons for help in old age.
But she defended China's one child limit, and said that other
Asian societies had similar imbalances.
Researchers say China has far fewer girls than it should have, suggesting that many millions were aborted or killed after birth.
The imbalance has lead to warnings that millions of men will not find wives, and fuelled a black market in child trafficking.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund, about 250,000 women and children were victims of trafficking in China last year.
On Tuesday, Chinese police arrested 95 members of a baby smuggling gang in Inner Mongolia.