September 9, 2010

CHINA: China expected to face aging society crisis in 2035

BEIJING, China / The People's Daily / Life & Culture / September 9, 2010

The effects of China's aging population are expected to reach crisis levels in 2035 when every pensioner is supported by less than two Chinese taxpayers, said Dr. Yang Yansui, a professor of Tsinghua University, during the 21st Century Forum held in Beijing on September 8.

Prof Yang Yansui also said that China's working age population will decrease in 2015 and the pace for the growth of the aging population will accelerate.

Yang said there will be 810 million people in the working age population, which includes those aged between 15 and 64, and 294 million people in the aging population, defined as those above the age of 65, in China in 2035.

If students, the unemployed population and low-income population failing to meet the minimum tax threshold are excluded, then every pensioner will be supported by less than two Chinese taxpayers. Such a phenomenon is called the threshold of aging society crisis.

European countries and the United States have all formulated strategies for pensions and the development of the elderly care service industry 30 to 35 years ahead of schedule in order to ensure the living security of seniors and help them to deal with various negative social impacts posed by aging problems. Comparatively, it will take China only a little more than 20 years to enter the threshold of the aging society crisis, thus it is urgent for China to formulate pension policies to prevent the aging society crisis.

Li Ling, a professor at the China Center for Economic Research under the National School of Development of Peking University, believes that China has a special national situation and has a larger population and faster changes of pace than any other country.

Therefore, she suggested that the huge assets of China's state-owned enterprises should gradually be transformed into the source of funds for the country's social security system.

Meanwhile, since the rise in the value of state-owned land is a result of economic development, the related added value should be assets shared by all the people, and be used as the funds for the social security system, she said.

Copyright by People's Daily