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‘This Is a Crisis’: Why Americans Should Care About China’s Shrinking Population

Samantha Aschieris 

For the first time in six decades, the most populous country in the world has a shrinking population.

Michael Cunningham, a research fellow in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, says “this is a crisis that’s been decades in the making” and it will likely shock the global economy. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

“Really since at least the 1990s China has known that its population was going to decline,” Cunningham says. “For decades it has had this draconian policy, this population control policy. For most of the time, it was people were limited to one child only, and so in many cases, they would fine people if they had more than one child.”

“In some cases, authorities at the local level would sterilize people, force them to have abortions and so they’re controlling it this entire time. For all these years, the population growth rate was really high and then it just plummets,” he says.

Cunningham continues:

And then it has now reached this time where they have negative population growth. We’ve never had a country then go from negative population growth up to the replacement level, so it is a crisis.

China is going to have to deal with it for the foreseeable future.

Cunningham joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss more about China’s shrinking population, why it will almost certainly impact the global economy, and the Middle Kingdom’s battle against COVID-19.

Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:

Samantha Aschieris. Joining today’s podcast is Michael Cunningham. He’s a research fellow focusing on China in the Asian Studies Center here at The Heritage Foundation. Michael, thanks for joining us again.

Michael Cunningham: Thanks for having me again.

Aschieris: Of course. Now, you and I have talked about China and the Chinese Communist Party in the past a lot. And what I want to talk to you about today are these recent reports that China’s population is shrinking. Now, The New York Times reports that more than 9.5 million people were born in China last year, whereas just under 10.5 million people died. First and foremost, what’s the significance of these numbers and China’s population shrinking?

Cunningham: Yeah, so, this is a crisis that’s been decades in the making. Really since at least the 1990s China has known that its population was going to decline. For decades it has had this draconian policy, this population-control policy. For most of the time it was people were limited to one child only. And so in many cases it was, they would fine people if they had more than one child. In some cases, authorities at the local level would sterilize people, force them to have abortions. And so they’re controlling it this entire time.

For all these years, the population growth rate was really high and then it just plummets. And then it has now reached this time where they have negative population growth. We’ve never had a country then go from negative population growth up to the replacement level so it is a crisis. China is going to have to deal with it for the foreseeable future…

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE…(dailysignal.com)

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