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US News The Chinese Population Crisis

02:50  20 january  2020
02:50  20 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The Chinese Population Crisis . How Communist cruelty and Western folly built an underpopulation bomb. But even after years of growth, Chinese per capita G.D.P. is still about one-third or one-fourth the size of neighboring countries like South Korea and Japan.

The Chinese Population Crisis . News from New York Times. OpinionThe Chinese Population CrisisHow Communist cruelty and Western folly built an underpopulation bomb.In recent days both this newspaper and The Wall Street Journal have carried reports on one of the most important geopolitical

a group of people standing in front of a building: Elderly people chatted outside a shopping mall in Beijing. © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images Elderly people chatted outside a shopping mall in Beijing.

In recent days both this newspaper and The Wall Street Journal have carried reports on one of the most important geopolitical facts of the 21st century: The world’s great rising power, the People’s Republic of China, is headed for a demographic crisis.

Like the United States and most developed countries, China has a birthrate that is well below replacement level. Unlike most developed countries, China is growing old without first having grown rich.

Of course China has grown richer: My colleague David Leonhardt, who spent time in China at the beginning and the end of the 2010s, just wrote a column emphasizing the “maturing” of the Chinese economy over that period, the growth of start-ups and consumer spending and the middle class.

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Chinese academics recently delivered a stark warning to the country’s leaders: China is facing its most precipitous decline in population in decades, setting the stage for potential demographic, economic and even political crises in the near future.

Visit the home of a Chinese man who gave up work to care for his aging mother who is in the grip of dementia. As the country's population ages, the

A group of children in costume wait to perform at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. China's population crept past 1.4 billion in 2019 for the first time, even as the birthrate continues to fall. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) © ASSOCIATED PRESS A group of children in costume wait to perform at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. China's population crept past 1.4 billion in 2019 for the first time, even as the birthrate continues to fall. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

But even after years of growth, Chinese per capita G.D.P. is still about one-third or one-fourth the size of neighboring countries like South Korea and Japan. And yet its birthrate has converged with the rich world much more quickly and completely — which has two interrelated implications, both of them grim.

First, China will have to pay for the care of a vast elderly population without the resources available to richer societies facing the same challenge. Second, China’s future growth prospects will dim with every year of below-replacement birthrates, because low fertility creates a self-reinforcing cycle — in which a less youthful society loses dynamism and growth, which reduces economic support for would-be parents, which reduces birthrates, which reduces growth …

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The Chinese word for " crisis " is frequently invoked in Western motivational speaking as being composed of two Chinese characters signifying "danger" and "opportunity" respectively. While the original meaning of wēijī is "danger at a point of juncture

WUSHAN, Dec. 27, 2019 -- Jiang Xiangui,  L, 75, sees a doctor at the health center of Chunquan village in Wuxia Town of Wushan County, southwest China's Chongqing, Dec. 26, 2019. In recent years, Wushan county has continued to carry out medical assistance to ensure that the poor population has access to basic medical and health services and prevent illness-caused poverty. (Photo by Wang Quanchao/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Wang Quanchao via Getty Images) © Xinhua News Agency WUSHAN, Dec. 27, 2019 -- Jiang Xiangui, L, 75, sees a doctor at the health center of Chunquan village in Wuxia Town of Wushan County, southwest China's Chongqing, Dec. 26, 2019. In recent years, Wushan county has continued to carry out medical assistance to ensure that the poor population has access to basic medical and health services and prevent illness-caused poverty. (Photo by Wang Quanchao/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Wang Quanchao via Getty Images)

The Times report on China’s birthrates also reminds us that this trap is cultural, quoting a young Chinese woman who remarks of her one-child-policy-shaped generation: “We are all only children, and to be honest, a little selfish … How can I raise a child when I’m still a child myself?” This is the glib explication of a real problem: Having kids, inevitably one of the harder things that human beings do, feels harder still in a society where children are invisible, siblings absent, and large families rare, where there aren’t ready exemplars or forms of solidarity for people contemplating parenthood.

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In recent days both this newspaper and The Wall Street Journal have carried reports on one of the most important geopolitical facts of the 21st century: The world’s great rising power, the People’s Republic of China , is headed for a demographic crisis . Like the United States and most developed …

In all this, what China is experiencing is part of the common demographic decadence of the developed world, which is enveloping developing countries too. As Lyman Stone writes in the latest National Review, the human race is increasingly facing a “global fertility crisis,” not just a European or American or Japanese baby bust. It’s a crisis that threatens ever-slower growth in the best case; in the worst-case, to cite a recent paper by the Stanford economist Charles Jones, it risks “an Empty Planet result: knowledge and living standards stagnate for a population that gradually vanishes.”

BEIJING, Jan. 6, 2020 -- Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of a leading group for China's seventh national population census, addresses a meeting of the leading group in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 6, 2020. (Photo by Li Tao/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Li Tao via Getty Images) © Xinhua News Agency BEIJING, Jan. 6, 2020 -- Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of a leading group for China's seventh national population census, addresses a meeting of the leading group in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 6, 2020. (Photo by Li Tao/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Li Tao via Getty Images)

(An aside to answer a predictable objection: Yes, in an age of stagnation, CO2 levels won’t grow as fast, delaying some of climate change’s effects — but at the same time a stagnant society will struggle to innovate enough to escape the climate crisis permanently. And yes, an empty planet wouldn’t have a climate change problem at all, but if that’s your goal your misanthropy is terminal.)

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The report predicts China 's population will peak in 2030 at 1.45 billion. It stood at around 1.37 billion in 2015. Experts suggest that China 's demographic crisis is in part a legacy of its attempt at population control through the one-child policy. "In traditional Chinese culture, more children meant more

The aging of China ’s population represents a crisis because its arrival is imminent and inevitable, because its ramifications are huge and long-lasting Something little understood by the outside world, and indeed to the Chinese government and public, is that today’s demographic changes mark only

Within this general, global story, though, the Chinese case is also distinctive, because cruel policy choices made its demographic problems worse.

For these choices — the one-child policy, and the forced abortions and sterilizations and infanticide the policy either required or encouraged — the Communist regime bears a heavy burden of guilt. And the guilt continues to build, because even with the one-child policy gone, the regime’s repression still effectively suppresses birthrates. As Stone noted recently on Twitter, by targeting minority and religious populations, Beijing is attacking the country’s more fecund groups, in what amounts to a statement that if Han birthrates have fallen, minority birthrates must be cut to match.

A group of children in costume wait to perform at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. China's population crept past 1.4 billion in 2019 for the first time, even as the birthrate continues to fall. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) © ASSOCIATED PRESS A group of children in costume wait to perform at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. China's population crept past 1.4 billion in 2019 for the first time, even as the birthrate continues to fall. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

But alongside that Communist guilt there is Western guilt as well, because the one-child policy was linked to a project hatched by Western technocrats, funded by Western institutions, and egged on by Western intellectuals — a classist, sexist, racist, anti-religious program that sought to defuse a “population bomb” that, we know now, would have defused itself without forced sterilization programs in India and signs in Chinese villages saying “You can beat it out! You can make it fall out! You can abort it! But you cannot give birth to it!”

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The main difference between China and other densely populated developing countries, such as Bangladesh, India, Egypt, Nigeria or Mexico, may be that the Chinese have had the foresight to make projections of their population and resources and the courage to translate their findings into policy.

The Chinese population also increases but refuses to expand west and insists on crowding around the east coast. South Korea, having had an overpopulation In the end, the continent of Asia is suffering from a serious pandemic of population crisis . Whether it be overpopulation or a loss in population

That last quote comes from Mara Hvistendahl’s gripping “Unnatural Selection,” one of two books I recommend reading on the subject; the other is Matthew Connelly’s “Fatal Misconception.” Both are mostly retrospective: The Western effort died away as the population bomb fizzled, and while its Malthusianism endures around the edges of environmentalism and in European anxieties about African migration, mostly the population control crusade is recalled as a mistaken extrapolation, a well-meaning mistake.

Gallery: The 20 countries facing population collapse (Business Insider)

a man that is standing in the water:    A      report from the Financial Times highlights new statistics     that show Italy's birthrate has collapsed well below the level     needed to maintain a stable population.      Italy is just one of many countries that face serious   demographic headwinds in the decades to come.      Low birth and immigration rates could lead to rapidly aging   and shrinking populations in these areas.      Using the UN's population estimates, we found the 20   countries projected to have the largest percent decline in   population from 2020 to 2050.           Visit Business Insider's     homepage for more stories.       A new    report from the Financial Times says that Italy is facing a   demographic crisis caused by low birth rates and decreased   migration. But Italy is not alone in its struggles with a   shrinking population.    According to the Financial Times, Italy's birth rate has fallen   to 1.32 children per women, far below the 2.1 children needed to   maintain a stable population over time. The article cites experts   arguing that young Italians lack confidence in the future   economic direction of the country, and are forgoing childbirth   out of concerns that they won't be able to have the resources   needed to raise kids.    Italy is just one of many countries struggling with a shrinking   and aging population. Japan is facing a

But the news from China is a reminder that a harsher sort of memory is appropriate. As we contemplate the demographic challenge of the future, we should reserve particular opprobrium for those who chose, in the arrogance of their supposed humanitarianism, to use coercive and foul means to make the great problem of the 21st century worse.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

Sir David Attenborough admits it's 'difficult' to even talk about population control to save the planet because it's a 'precious biological right' to have children .
Sir David Attenborough,93, claimed it's a 'biological right' to have children, during Chris Packham's new BBC2 documentary, 7.7 Billion People and Counting, which airs tonight.The broadcaster, 93, will appear on the BBC2 documentary, 7.7 Billion People & Counting tonight, in which in which Chris Packham urges people to consider having fewer children, because rising population and consumption is damaging the planet.

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