China's population ageing was not caused by the country's family planning policy, but an inevitable result of the process of modernization, the People's Daily reported on August 20.
In an opinion piece coauthored by Zhai Zhenwu and Chen Jiaju, scholars with the Renmin University, the two experts said family planning policy is not the root cause of China's population ageing. Although it did speed up the pace, to some extent, it reduced the overall size of the population and shortened the duration of the phenomenon in China.
Population ageing is an inevitable universal phenomenon, as decreased fertility and prolonged human longevity are the results of modernization.
Developed countries confronted the phenomenon after World War II and it later intensified. Some developing countries have experienced the phenomenon in the 21st century and the population has grown at a rapid pace.
The United Nations predicts that the countries with the youngest populations will also age by the end of the century.
Statistics show that China's population of 60 or older hit 220 million by the end of 2015, topping the world list and accounting for a quarter of the world's total elderly population.
The huge ageing population in China poses great pressure on the construction of the old-age security system and the development of health care.
The next generation of elderly in two or three decades from now will be more educated, have better self-care ability, and have higher socio-economic development.
Against such a backdrop, Zhai and Chen said China should actively address the issue by improving the quality of elderly care services, establishing a long-term care insurance system, and promoting family care, as well as explore new ways.
(Source: People's Daily Online)
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