Interview: China's population fully capable of supporting modernization drive: official

(Xinhua) 13:31, June 17, 2023

BEIJING, June 16 (Xinhua) -- China's population quality and quantity is fully sufficient to shore up its modernization drive, as the country's demographic dividend has not disappeared and talent dividend is in the making, an official with the country's top economic planner has said.

"While boasting a relatively large population, China has also seen steady improvements in its population quality," Liu Ming, head of the Department of Social Development of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told Xinhua in an interview.

With an average of 11-year education, better health conditions, higher labor productivity, and an expanding middle-income group, China's labor force is fully capable of providing a solid foundation and lasting impetus for Chinese modernization, said Liu.

As population aging has become a basic national condition, China has elevated the proactive response to population aging to the level of national strategy, according to Liu.

The country has the "conditions, ability and confidence" to cope with population aging effectively, the official said, stressing that the challenge also harbors development opportunities, like the great potential seen in the silver economy.

On the high-quality development of the population, China will take steps to "achieve an appropriate fertility rate, ensure the long-term sustainable growth of population, and stabilize the supply of high-quality labor force," Liu said.

To improve overall population quality and cultivate human resources for modern society, China will give priority to education development, establish a policy system that actively supports births, and protect the elderly's rights and interests in participating in various undertakings, according to Liu.

For the economic planner, key measures to address the challenge include fine-tuning the demographic monitoring system and the mechanism that links public resources with the demographic distribution.

Efforts will also be made to improve public services in education, medical care, and social services, and expedite the building of a new batch of national innovation platforms that integrate industrial production with education, he said.

To better serve children and the elderly, the NDRC will also move faster to build a basic old-age service system and develop community-based nursery service facilities and comprehensive nursery care institutions, Liu said. 

(Web editor: Xue Yanyan, Sheng Chuyi)


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