Editor's note: As China emerges as an influential stakeholder in the international arena, issues surrounding this ancient country seem to be frequently misinterpreted by Western media. To clarify the misunderstandings and demonstrate the true image of China, the CGTN Opinion team invited experts and made a special video series titled "Opinions Clash" to respond to topics that are often brought to the limelight but are wrongly interpreted. Here is the first episode on China's population issue.
Demographic dividend has been a major factor in China's miraculous economic growth. But Western media have recently used the term "Achilles' heel" to sensationalize China's falling birth rate, even warning the country of a looming population crisis.
Should China's demographic figure be a major concern? Is it setting the stage for economic and political crises? Will China grow old before it gets richer? Liu Chunsheng, an associate professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics says no.
The hype around a precipitous decline in population growth is unwarranted. And while some are hoping for a "demographic disaster" in China, it just seems a bit far-fetched.
China has been introducing measures to encourage people to have more children, from an all-out two-child policy to tax cuts to strengthening women's employment rights. This 360-degree approach will eventually lead to a baby boom.
Furthermore, nearly 65 percent of the total workforce in China is of people aged between 15 and 59. Simply put, China's demographic dividend will not run out in the short term.
And let us not forget about the technology factor. With artificial intelligence gradually replacing manpower in manufacturing, agriculture and even the service industry, the decline in birth rate will not carry as much weight in the future economy as it does today.
Finally, better living standards and healthcare mean increased life expectancy. Many Chinese people in their 60s are still fit, both physically and mentally, to work. China is slowly redefining the term "aging society" for the world.
Admittedly, China does face some demographic challenges but they are not as severe as depicted in Western media. China has always urged the world to join hands in solving each other's problems. And the West should bear in mind "cooperation" not "confrontation" with China will yield tangible results.
Script: Liu Jianxi
Voice-over: Nadim Diab
Edit and design: Chen Shi, Li Yunlong, Zhao Yuanzhen
Producer: Wei Wei
Director: Zhang Shilei
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