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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle



China’s Ageing Population Spells Trouble for Xi: A Demographic Crisis Looms

China's Ageing Population
China's Ageing Population

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When asked about his pension, 72-year-old farmer Huanchun Cao responds with a deep chuckle, dismissing the notion with a shake of his head. Alongside his wife of over four decades, Mr. Cao represents a generation that has traversed the evolution of Communist China, aging without the accompanying wealth. Like numerous rural and migrant workers, he remains in the workforce due to the inadequacies of the social safety net.

China faces a looming demographic crisis, exacerbated by a slowing economy, diminishing government benefits, and the enduring impacts of the one-child policy. With approximately 300 million individuals aged 50 to 60 set to exit the workforce in the next decade, the nation confronts the challenge of caring for its aging population.

In the northeastern province of Liaoning, where Mr. Cao resides, the landscape is marked by vast expanses of farmland juxtaposed with remnants of its industrial past. With nearly a quarter of its population aged 65 or older, the region grapples with an exodus of working-age adults seeking opportunities in urban centers.

Despite his children’s departure, Mr. Cao anticipates a few more years of toil, reflecting on the uncertainties of his twilight years. Meanwhile, 55-year-old Guohui Tang, prompted by familial financial strains, embarked on an entrepreneurial venture by establishing a modest care home outside Shenyang. Here, she accommodates six elderly residents, offering a glimpse into the challenges faced by those without pensions, reliant solely on familial support.

Traditionally, China leaned on filial piety to bridge gaps in elderly care, but changing demographics and urbanization have eroded this support system. As a consequence, the pension system, projected to deplete by 2035, confronts an impending crisis.

In Hangzhou, however, a different narrative unfolds. The city’s burgeoning tech sector and entrepreneurial spirit foster an environment conducive to innovation in elderly care. Institutions like the Sunshine Care Home exemplify such efforts, albeit facing financial hurdles.

Amidst these complexities, individuals like 55-year-old Shuishui find solace in the burgeoning “silver-haired economy,” leveraging opportunities in the marketplace catering to middle-class seniors. Nevertheless, for many elderly individuals, particularly in rural regions like Liaoning, the reality remains stark, with financial insecurities overshadowing the twilight years.

As Mr. Cao tends to his hearth, contemplating a future devoid of retirement, his story epitomizes the resilience of ordinary folk navigating the complexities of aging in a rapidly evolving China. Despite the hardships, the simplicity and steadfastness of rural life endure, a testament to the enduring spirit of perseverance amidst adversity.

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