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A blog by Leon Oudejans

The aging superpower (Bloomberg)

23 May 2018

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“President Xi Jinping’s biggest obstacle to completing China’s rise to global wealth and power may not be the U.S. under Donald Trump, but a greying population.

That’s why Xi’s Communist Party may soon bring an historic end to its roughly four-decade-old policy of limiting the number of children each family can have. The population-control measures — involving steep fines, forced abortions and sterilizations — could be repealed as soon as this year, Bloomberg News exclusively reports.

The demographic experiment, which once limited families to just one child, has left China with 30 million more men than women and an aging problem similar to those of much more developed economies. By 2030 — when Xi hopes to be completing China’s modernization drive — about one-quarter of the population will be 60 or older.

While the prospect of an end to the policy boosted baby-related stocks in Shanghai, demographers complain the party’s been too slow to relinquish control. Births fell last year, even after a 2015 reform that allowed families to have two children.

Xi may need to take more dramatic steps if he wants to reverse the trend and maintain the dynamic economy that Trump views as such a threat. Will China now start paying families to have kids?

For more on China’s family size limits, read this Quicktake.”

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-22/xi-s-race-against-a-population-timebomb

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