China's population

Is there a crisis brewing in the world's most populated country?
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China confirmed its population grew to 1.412 billion in 2020, from 1.4 billion a year earlier, according to the results of its once-in-a-decade census. But the number of new births fell for the fourth consecutive year in 2020, adding to concerns about China’s ageing population, with the demographic data set to have far-reaching social policy and economic implications.

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Current measures like the three-child policy per couple are not enough to increase the country’s flagging fertility rate.
China faces many challenges from trade wars to local government debt but now is a chance for national rejuvenation. At the crux is the creation of well-paying, secure jobs and the restoration of business confidence
Growing concerns about the market’s slump have made Times of Negative Property Value, a book on the collapse of Japanese housing prices, a must-read for many Chinese during the Lunar New Year holiday.
The outpouring of concern is simplistic and wrong-headed in many ways: a shrinking population is good for the planet, the fall is merely a rounding error and government efforts to address issues are well under way.
Official recognition that China’s population has started to decline is a watershed moment in Chinese history, and will overturn many basic assumptions when analysing the country’s future.
The pandemic is a reminder that a society where pensioners make up a large part of the population will always be vulnerable to public health challenges.
Good governance, education, infrastructure and more are needed to integrate a growing working-age population productively into the economy. Asia must also capitalise on its close integration in regional supply chains and free-trade agreements.
After four decades of birth control, China has finally woken up and realised that it may have gone too far in implementing the one -child policy, but Beijing’s U-turn in population policy has come too late.
Education may be holding India back from emulating China’s economic trajectory, with India producing far fewer skilled workers than China. Yet while India can learn from China’s success in education, China still has strides to make in critical thinking and allowing a diversity of ideas.
State Council proposals to reverse a declining population through a series of incentives are only the beginning and require the support of all.
Demography is not destiny, so it’s meaningless to use population decline as a predictor of China’s future unless you can link it to productivity, which depends greatly on technological progress, something that is inherently impossible to forecast.
SCMP ColumnistAlex Lo
Continued implementation of quarantines and other strict coronavirus control measures has cast a shadow over how well China’s population can cope in the future.
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