ICS Occasional Papers

Demographic U Turn in China: Xi Jinping’s Vision 2035 and the Three Child Policy

China’s Census 2020 has clearly revealed the demographic trend that has been noticed for the last few decades, that of an ageing population in China. For a vision that Xi Jinping has, of a country which is technologically advanced, and of a developed Chinese economy with industrialization, enhanced military capabilities, an eco- friendly way of life with declining carbon emissions by 2035 and a declining rural urban divide, it is of paramount importance that the workforce should be able, agile, productive and contribute to the ‘dual economy’. The GDP is targeted to reach that of moderately developed countries; and reducing regional disparities, modernizing industrial supply chains and improving the infrastructure are some of the other considerations which are a part of the vision, including the dual circulation strategy, part of which relies on domestic consumption. Hence the demographics need to change and in order to give a boost to the numbers in the younger population, the ‘Three-child policy’ has been announced. It remains to be seen whether the incentives that are being offered are going to succeed in making this a successful policy, keeping in mind the increasing costs of bringing up children, of education, medical expenses, housing prices and the trend towards nuclear families and numerous other factors, including the negative overhang of the ‘one child policy’, and the career choices of women, the ‘lying flat’ generation and the changing global perspectives of the younger generation.

KEYWORDS: Three child policy, Demographic trends, Ageing population, Dual circulation strategy, Domestic consumption, Fertility rate, Gender imbalance, Chinese tradition and culture.


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