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The CCP’s Legacy: An Aging Population, 62M Missing Women and A Lost Generation

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The once-celebrated one-child policy now casts long shadows over China’s future, entwining the nation in a complex web of socio-economic and political challenges that could ripple across the globe, triggering a cascade of dire consequences. This policy, born of a desire to control the burgeoning population, has morphed into an albatross around China’s neck, leading it into a demographic quagmire from which escape seems daunting, if not impossible.

At the heart of this looming crisis is the stark reality of an aging populace, with those aged 60 and above now exceeding 20% of the total population. A figure that, by 2040, is expected to swell, engulfing over a quarter of the nation’s citizenry in the twilight of their lives. The ramifications of this demographic shift are profound, as the burden of care for an elderly population threatens to capsize the pension system, with some experts predicting bankruptcy by 2035. The specter of financial ruin looms large, casting a pall over the nation’s future as the government grapples with the Herculean task of averting disaster. Measures such as raising retirement ages and hiking taxes are contemplated, though they walk a tightrope between necessity and political volatility.

This is the Chinese Communist Party’s legacy, a population distorted by ignorant, totalitarian directives inflicted upon its people that robbed the Chinese of a robust next generation. The control over human reproduction was barbaric in its implementation with forced abortions and severe punishments. And now China is just figuring out the stupidity of the laws.

Amid this demographic upheaval, the fabric of Chinese society is being tested. The policy’s legacy—a gender imbalance of startling proportions, with approximately 30 million more men than women—threatens the social equilibrium. This disparity, a direct outcome of a cultural predilection for male heirs, has sown the seeds of unrest, contributing to an undercurrent of societal instability. The chilling prospect of “over 62 million ‘missing’ women,” as reported, epitomizes the human cost of a policy gone awry, a stark reminder of choices made and their irreversible consequences. In case you are not familiar, boys are more valuable than girls in securing the future of the parents. With only one child allowed it is estimated that 62 million girls were aborted so that boys could be born.

The decline in birth rates adds another layer of complexity to this intricate tapestry. From a peak of 17.86 million births in 2016 to a mere 9.02 million in 2023, the plummeting birth rate signals a nation in demographic retreat. Efforts to reverse this trend, including the relaxation of the one-child policy and incentives for larger families, have faltered, thwarted by economic realities and a societal shift in attitudes toward childrearing. The shadow of financial burden looms large over prospective parents, with the cost of raising a child to adulthood dwarfing the average GDP per capita, rendering the prospect of parenthood a daunting, if not prohibitive, undertaking.

This demographic spiral threatens not only the social fabric and economic vitality of China but also casts a long shadow over the global stage. As the world’s second-largest market and importer, the ripples of China’s demographic shift could swell into waves of economic turmoil, affecting trade dynamics, global prices, and the economic health of nations far beyond its borders.

In the words of Xi Jinping, China “faces the pressure of a large population and the challenges brought about by the transformation of the population structure.” This acknowledgment underscores the gravity of the situation and the monumental task that lies ahead. As China navigates this demographic tightrope, the world watches, a testament to the profound impact of policy decisions on the destiny of nations and the global community at large. The one-child policy, a relic of a bygone era, serves as a somber reminder of the indelible mark that bad governance can leave on the human condition, marks that resonate through generations.

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