This article is from WeChat official account:Fyvoice (ID: fyvoice) , author: Chen by article April 6, 2021 published in the Global Times , the title picture comes from: Visual China

Some Western media organizations have basically failed to slander the Chinese economy in the past, and they have recently picked up a “population issue” as an argument, which can only show that China’s rise is unstoppable.

According to data released by the Ministry of Public Security recently, the number of newborns born in 2020 and registered with the Ministry of Public Security is 10.35 million, which is a significant drop from the 14.65 million newborns in 2019. Public opinion is paying attention to population issues rapidly, and some scholars have conducted in-depth analysis. The content related to promoting the realization of an appropriate fertility level, enhancing the inclusiveness of the fertility policy, reducing the burden of family fertility, nurturing, and education, and releasing the potential of the fertility policy are also included in the “14th Five-Year Plan” outline.

Some “smart-sense” Western media have also paid attention to China’s population problem and even cited it as new evidence of “China’s collapse”. For example, the “Wall Street Journal” claims that China’s labor force decline and declining birthrates are overwhelming the economic prospects, and the “New York Times” believes that China’s population crisis is “the most important geopolitical fact of the 21st century” and that China “gets old before getting rich” and its economic prospects are bleak. .

Some Western research institutes recently released a report saying that China’s labor force will decrease by more than 0.5% year by year, while the high birth rate and immigration policies in the United States will expand the labor force in the next 30 years. Some people even believe that because of the population problem, “China’s economy will never surpass the United States.” This kind of bad-mouthing argument that links population with Sino-US competition has been pursued by some Western media and institutions.Hold.

Regarding China, the biggest problem with some Western media organizations is that they are not objective, and this is also true with regard to population issues. Demographic statistics are difficult. What is the real situation? It is worthy of careful investigation and research. The seventh census data to be released is of great value. However, some Western media organizations often fall into the paranoid logic of the so-called “Chinese population’s birth number has been falsified for many years” and “China’s population has been growing negatively.” Since China’s official data is “unreliable” and the problem is “sure”, then the so-called “true situation” unilaterally deduced by these media organizations can only be destructive.

The decline in the birth population in my country in recent years is indeed unexpected, but it is not unexplainable. The direct reason is that the marriage of the right-age population and the delayed childbearing age have led to an unexpected drop of about 3 million births of one child, and an increase in the number of births of second child but also less than expected. Women of childbearing age between 20 and 30 years, that is, “post-90s” women, each age group is not less than 9 million, they should be the main force of marriage and childbirth. However, as the number of female college students surpassed that of male students, the time for females to further their education and work hard has increased significantly. Coupled with the increased requirements for marriage partners, young women have significantly delayed their marriage and childbirth after 2016. The main marriage age has changed from 20 to 29 years old in the past to 25-34 years old. In 2019, there were 3.685 million married people over 40 years old, surpassing 3.654 million people aged 20-24.

The significant increase in the education level of the youth population is by no means a bad thing. It is normal for women with a college degree to marry later than women with a junior high school degree and to have higher requirements for their spouses. The resulting postponement of marriage and childbirth is not irreversible, and the number of births is lower than expected. In fact, the number of marriages between the ages of 30 and 34 in 2019 has increased over the previous year. A large number of women postpone their marriage due to school and work, but they will still enter the marriage palace according to the traditional pattern, which will most likely bring about a rebound in one-child births.

The state and society should provide help for young people to get married and have children, and there is indeed much to be done in this regard. China has a vast territory, and the living pressure in cities and towns below the third and fourth tiers is significantly less than that in the first and second tier cities. Delays in marriage and childbirth due to higher education levels do exist, but the phenomenon of unmarried older adults is not much compared to other East Asian countries.

The low fertility rate in other parts of East Asia is mainly due to the small size and homogeneity of society. The female fertility rate in Japan is 1.4, and 1/7 of the females remain unmarried. The female fertility rate in South Korea is 0.9, which is the lowest in the world. The fertility rate in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore is 1.1. The policies adopted to boost the fertility rate are mostly ineffective. And China has much more room for maneuver, regional differencesThere is much more room for the release of reproductive potential, and there are many more ways the country can adopt at the policy level. The potential of the childbirth policy has not yet been fully released, and the large-scale subsidy model common in developed countries has not been adopted. Chinese society has traditional family advantages such as “elderly people helping children”. China’s per capita housing area is already the highest in East Asia and is still growing. Growth, “housing and not speculating” has a significant effect on alleviating the burden of young people on housing purchases. Taking into account the advantages of various systems, it is expected that China will achieve a moderate fertility level.

With economic development and the rise of national education, the decline in the birth rate is an inevitable phenomenon. The experience of some countries in the past has proved that after adopting reasonable countermeasures, it is also a common phenomenon that the birth rate rebounds. Not like some alarmist claims, the population will continue to be halved until it disappears. Population has a long-term impact on the economy, and the fertility situation deserves attention and attention. However, the impact of the population problem on the country’s economy and society is long-term, and there is a long time to adjust and respond. It does not mean that “something will happen” immediately. The outcome is already “doomed.” The population problems in some low-fertility areas in East Asia are chronically ill because these areas are not rich in comprehensive resources, the industrial hierarchy is locked down, and the social life pressure is too high and other inherent defects have led to adjustments that have not achieved greater results.

China has a complete range of industries and diverse economic models. Young people have unlimited future imagination. They have the prospect of hard work and the conditions for a leisurely life. Implementing the family planning policy and controlling population in a planned way is a choice made by China on its own initiative. Even if the birth rate is at a low level for some time in the future, the working-age population declines, and China’s working population will exceed the total of developed countries for a long time, it will still be a basic premise. With the support of the educational dividend and the rapid advancement of technology, the average output of the Chinese labor force has great room for improvement. There is no so-called labor shortage problem. In the future, our main concern will still be the employment problem.

Population is a very long-term issue with many variables. The problem of “economic collapse” should belong to the short to medium term, and predictions that are too far away are meaningless. Some western media organizations have basically failed to slander the Chinese economy in the past, and they have recently picked up a “population problem” as an argument, which can only show that China’s rise is unstoppable.

This article is from WeChat official account:Fyvoice (ID: fyvoice) , author: Chen after