As some people say, China will get old before it gets rich.
A report from Xinhuatnet says that more than seven percent of China's total population is 65 years old or above. "The aging problem has come around not only somewhat earlier but also developed rapidly," the report cited Hui Liangyu, vice premier of the State Council, as saying. He also said that currently, the number of Chinese age 60 or above accounts for more than 10 percent of the total Chinese population.
China's ageing population is largely the result of its one-child policy. However, even without this policy, the greying of China appears inevitable.
According to the CIA World Factbook -- updated on 20 September 2005 -- in rankings of countries by birth rates and fertility rates, the countries at the bottom are almost all either European -- including formerly communist East European countries -- or Asian countries dominated by Confucian cultures.
For all the talk of the uniqueness of Asian values that was in vogue in the 1990s, European and Confucian cultures clearly share certain common traits that manifest themselves in areas like economic performance and demographic trends.