Perhaps the most momentous report of the day, via the South China Morning Post: 15pc of mainland Chinese now over age of 60, official says. Excerpt:
The mainland now has more than 200 million people over the age of 60, making up nearly 15 per cent of the country's population, a senior official has revealed.
Civil Affairs Deputy Minister Dou Yupei said at a press conference yesterday that the three biggest obstacles the nation faced in implementing services for the elderly were a lack of financial resources, a lack of available land and the difficulty in recruiting nursing staff.
The country's ageing population has been growing at an alarming rate. Just four years ago, UN data put the percentage of people above the age of 60 in the country at 12 per cent - well under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's average.
A study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2010 found that the proportion of elderly people nationwide would surpass that of Japan by 2030, making China the world's most aged society within just 20 years.
Rapid growth of the elderly population will lower gross domestic product growth per capita and capital accumulations, and increase government debt.
It will also draw China's healthcare resources toward the diseases and conditions of old age despite the continuing emergence of new diseases afflicting plants and animals as well as humans—not to mention the unpredictable consequences of continuing climate change.