Aging China: The Party’s plans to avoid a demographic time bomb

From my editor’s note for the SupChina Access newsletter, November 24, 2020:

One item in the Chinese Communist Party’s communiqué released in October that laid out broad goals for the country for the years 2021 to 2025 was to “implement strategies to address the aging population.”

We are starting to see the first actions based on some of those strategies. Earlier this month, government documents suggested that the retirement age would be raised (a proposal that was met with anger online by young and old alike). Yesterday, state media published a clutch of articles on China’s family planning policies, essentially suggesting that the way to solve China’s aging crisis was to get young people to have more babies.

Today, China has launched an initiative to ensure that elderly people are not left on the wrong side of the digital divide, unable to access social and financial services because they do not have a new smartphone or know how to use a QR code — see our third story in this newsletter.

We can expect to see more government focus on senior citizens in the months to come.