China: population management to replace economic growth as policy priority

China’s next five-year plan, to be released in 2016, will place population management as a more important goal than economic growth, signaling concerns about demographic change in the country, ongoing attempts to shift the focus of government policy toward sustainable development and landmark changes to the government’s one-child policy.

For years, the Chinese government has placed economic growth as the core focus of government policy making. Now, with China aging rapidly and the prospect of smaller working age populations, tighter labour markets as significant welfare burdens from an aged society, China’s government is shifting its focus.

This will mean more widespread easing of the one-child policy, far-reaching reforms to health services and insurance industries, because the Chinese government will place more emphasis on building a welfare system capable of dealing with China’s large and growing aged population.

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