Written by Martin Thorley.
This week we are delighted to present a series of articles considering ageing China as their subject. The slowly rising median age of the Chinese population poses one of the most serious challenges to the long-term interests of the country. China now faces difficulties already experienced by many western countries and notably, Japan, as the balance of working-age and pension-age citizens tilts toward the latter. This week the pieces will consider the consequences of such a development, plotting the possible responses, the experience of the citizens on the ground and the new questions that the Chinese leadership must now consider.
We begin the weekly cycle with piece by Vincent Koen that offers a review of the state of affairs as they stand as well as considering options open to a government looking at how to alleviate the most serious consequences of the shifting demographics. Jieyu Liu’s pieces draws focus from the macro to the micro, considering the consequences of the demographic changes for elderly citizens, some of whom are interviewed here. Wanning Sun offers a social profile of the aged, exploring the new forces acting upon them as a group as well as their responses. Peter Chang offers an insightful piece on euthanasia in China, a subject of increasing prominence in the country. Striking a more optimistic tone, Qin Li assess how social media has allowed families to offset the worst effects of empty nests – when the children leave the family home. Finally, Jason Powell and Sheying Chen look ahead by examining the implications of the end of the One Child Policy.
Martin Thorley is a PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham and editorial assistant for CPI: Analysis.