Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

Illustration: Chen Xia/World Instances

China’s inhabitants decreased by 850,000 in 2022 to 1.411 billion, the Nationwide Bureau of Statistics (NBS) mentioned at a press convention earlier this month, which additionally revealed the nation’s GDP reached about $18 trillion final 12 months. The inhabitants measurement recorded its first drop up to now six a long time, which instantly set off a frenzy of Western media protection heralding the “dire implications” for the world’s rising economic and political energy.

It is laughable that the mainstream media within the US caught the information, saved spinning on it, and even created a brand new narrative that “the decline of China is undeniable and irreversible.” Some media pundits there even penned opinion items asserting that “China will become older before it becomes richer,” and to any extent further, “forget about a rising China.”

However demography isn’t future. The small dip in inhabitants measurement will not spell doom for China’s rise and the Chinese individuals’s steadily rising fortunes. Earlier than 2050, it is extremely unlikely that China will face a “demographic disaster” that the nation will fall in need of manufacturing manpower, as a result of the federal government has many instruments to encourage delivery of kids and readjust inhabitants construction. 

Furthermore, China has already begun to pursue industrial and companies automation by vigorously deploying robotics, massive information and synthetic intelligence. It’s a fascinating growth for the nation to hunt progress by different sources such as enhanced productiveness aided by applied sciences. 

The brand new mantra coming from authorities officers and economists is in search of “smarter, more efficient, high-quality growth,” whereas not “addicted to past labor intensive low-grade manufacturing and processing.” Additionally, from the attitude of planetary environmental sustainability, an ever-growing inhabitants on Earth surpassing 8 billion or 10 billion is rarely an excellent factor.

Final 12 months, China registered new births of 9.56 million infants, a quantity that far outstrips mixed new births in 27 EU international locations and the US. Within the foreseeable future, China won’t face a inhabitants disaster as alleged by some Western media pundits. Chinese economists level out that the nation has a big pool of rural labor that would assist fill meeting line gaps in city factories. 

In line with official information, the unemployment price for the age group of 16-24 years outdated in China is 16.7 % on the finish of 2022 – which means the nation isn’t in need of younger staff in any respect, and the federal government might not rush to extend the retirement age for Chinese staff. At present, the retirement age for males is 60 years outdated, and for girls is 55 years outdated (for blue-collar girls staff is 50 years outdated).

Within the subsequent a number of years, the variety of school graduates is estimated to hover at 10 million annually, offering enough human assets to help economic progress, which additionally signifies that the nation’s demographic dividend is shifting from amount to high quality. The NBS introduced China’s yearly GDP grew 3 % in 2022, with per capita GDP hitting $12,741, assembly the usual of medium developed international locations. 

Most economists have forecasted that China will considerably regain progress momentum this 12 months, with the financial system prone to develop by 5-6 %. Barring any abrupt mishaps such as a resurgence of COVID-19, the financial system measurement of China will most definitely surpass $20 trillion in 2024. The assertion that the inhabitants drop will upend China’s economic rise will show to be American wishful pondering, and one other strive at “China collapse” – a falsified idea the world has heard many instances up to now 40 years. It has a sister idea referred to as “China threat,” which can also be untenable. 

Definitely, China’s inhabitants decline is well worth the consideration of Chinese policymakers. The twentieth Nationwide Congress of the Communist Get together of China, convened in October, took word of the demographic change, stressing that the nation will do its utmost to ascertain a brand new coverage construction to spice up fertility and delivery charges by lowering the prices of being pregnant and births, little one rearing and education from kindergarten to school. 

Since then, many native governments have began to supply extra beneficiant money handouts, housing allowances and tax breaks to married {couples} keen to have two or three kids. 

It’s believed that the authorities at completely different ranges this 12 months will put in place extra preferential measures to usher in a whole set of insurance policies that considerably incentivizes and encourages bigger households. The impact of the coverage pivot can be gradual. China has turn out to be a extremely digitalized and comparatively prosperous society, through which younger girls have progressed in independence and shallowness, who now wish to have fewer kids in order that they might have extra time to pursue skilled achievements. 

It’s seemingly that the nation might witness just a few years of stabilizing in relation to the variety of births, and even see a short-term return to inhabitants progress after the influence of the pandemic subsides following the nation’s lifting of COVID restrictions. Additionally, the federal government has loads of time and assets to handle the stall in inhabitants progress, together with new nationwide laws to boost the retirement age, which can make a greater use of human assets and delay the formation of an ageing society. 

To summarize, neither a shrinking nor a rising inhabitants represents a disaster in itself. Specializing in inhabitants numbers to make wild predictions will threat lacking the forest for the timber. The way more vital concern is that the federal government shall reply rapidly and successfully to the challenges. China’s inhabitants decline can be delicate and the nation’s financial system will simply maintain increasing, backed by enough and better-educated work pressure. 

The creator is an editor with the World Instances. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn


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The Obsessed Guy
Hi, I'm The Obsessed Guy and I am passionate about artificial intelligence. I have spent years studying and working in the field, and I am fascinated by the potential of machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing. I love exploring how these technologies are being used to solve real-world problems and am always eager to learn more. In my spare time, you can find me tinkering with neural networks and reading about the latest AI research.

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