MonitorsPublished on Oct 21, 2016
The demographic effects of China's one-child policy is more pronounced, a survey has found.
China Weekly Report | Volume VI; Issue 35 | One-child policy to haunt families caring for elderly

< style="color: #0069a6;">POLITICS AND SOCIETY

< style="color: #163449;">China’s one-child policy to haunt families caring for elderly for decades, finds study

The Chinese mainland’s traditional reliance on family members to care for the elderly is expected to be tested as the demographic effects of the one-child policy grow more pronounced, a survey has found. The average number of surviving children for people in their sixties has declined to 2.5, while those in their eighties have more than four children on average, the China health and retirement longitudinal study by Peking University found. It surveyed more than 20,000 residents aged forty five years or above from 150 counties across the country in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Nearly half of the elderly live independently without help from their children, it found. While more than half had children in the same neighbourhood, county or city, the distance between the homes is rising. The survey found a gradual process of delaying the retirement age — as Beijing is doing — was possible. The proportion of men between fifty five and fifty nine who have taken some form of retirement fell from 53 percent in 2011 to 41 percent in 2015. About 87 percent of men aged between 60 and 64, and 86 percent of women in their 50s, do not have health conditions limiting work. Source: South China Morning Post

< style="color: #163449;">China to commemorate 80th anniversary of Long March victory

China will hold a convention on Friday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Long March at the Great Hall of the People, an official statement said Wednesday. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, will deliver a speech at the event. The Long March was a military maneuver carried out by the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army of the CPC from 1934 to 1936. The event will be broadcast live by China Central Television, China National Radio, China Radio International and several official websites. Source: China Daily

< style="color: #0069a6;">FOREIGN AFFAIRS

< style="color: #163449;">In a first, India and China hold joint Army exercise in J&K

In a first, India and China on 19 October carried out a joint army exercise in eastern Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, a move that comes amid hectic diplomatic maneuvering between the two countries over a host of issues like Nuclear Suppliers Group+ and designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the UN. During the day long exercise on Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) a fictitious situation of earthquake striking an Indian border village was painted. Thereafter joint teams carried out rescue operations, evacuation and rendering of medical assistance. This was done as a sequel to the first Joint Exercise held on February 6 in the area of Border Personnel Meeting Hut at Chushul Garrison of Eastern Ladakh, along with Chinese troops of Moldo Garrison. Sources said that in February, the exercise was held in the Chinese side and this time in the Indian side along the Line of Actual Control. Source: The Times of India

< style="color: #163449;">China criticises Slovak President's meeting with Dalai Lama

China on 17 October criticised Slovak President Andrej Kiska's meeting with the Dalai Lama, demanding Slovakia take measures to eliminate the negative impact of the meeting. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the comment after President Kiska insisted on meeting the Dalai Lama over lunch in Bratislava on Sunday in spite of China's strong opposition. "It goes against Slovakia's commitment to adherence to the one-China policy. China firmly opposes this and will make due responses," Hua said. Hua said the Dalai Lama has long engaged in anti-China separatist activities to split Tibet from China. She said China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama in conducting separatist activities in any country in any name and opposes foreign officials' contact with him in any form. "The Slovak president's willful moves and insistence on the wrong stance have damaged China's core interests and the political foundation of bilateral relations," the spokesperson said. Hua urged Slovakia to have a clear understanding of the Dalai Lama clique's anti-China nature, respect China's core interests and major concerns and strictly abide by the one-China policy. Source: Global Times

< style="color: #0069a6;">ECONOMY

< style="color: #163449;">OBOR lights up global growth

Although the world has been mired in sluggish economic growth, countries along the Belt and Road Initiative are bucking the trend. According to a report published on 19 October by China's National Bureau of Statistics, despite a slight decline of trade volume overall, China's imports and exports with the Belt and Road countries have impressively increased over the last three quarters of 2016. China's exports to Pakistan, Russia, Poland, Bangladesh and India have increased by 14.9 percent, 14 percent, 11.7 percent, 9.6 percent and 7.8 percent respectively, compared to last year's numbers. China also continues to import more bulk commodities including iron ore, crude oil, coals and coppers from Belt and Road countries. Charles Onuaiju, director of Nigeria's Center for China Studies in the capital Abuja, said that the Belt and Road is a model of global development that stresses inclusiveness and participation. From January to August, China invested nearly 10 billion US dollars in countries along the Belt and Road through financial institutions including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund, according to the ministry. Source: Xinhua

< style="color: #163449;">Steady Q3 economic growth makes room for deleveraging efforts

China, economy, Yuan, Mao Zedong, Yuan, Communist Party China's economy expanded at a steady 6.7 percent in the third quarter and appears on track to meet the government's full-year target, leaving room for more deleveraging efforts as easy credit has stoked financial risks. As external demand remains soft, the stabilisation of China's economy is largely propped up by improving domestic demand accompanied by increased government spending and bank lending, especially in the property and automobile sectors. With GDP growth on track, the government has signalled a shift in policy focus away from stimulus and toward containing financial risks caused by easy credit. China's new lending boomed again in September with loans to households continuing to grow rapidly, official data showed on 18 October, adding to concerns that consumers were following the same high-leverage path as corporations. To deleverage the economy, the government rolled out a debt-for-equity swap program in early October to bring down the corporate leverage ratio, while over a dozen Chinese cities have introduced measures to cool overheated markets and crack down on speculators, leading to marked drops in sales. Economists believe the greatest near-term risk for China is a possible sharp correction in the red-hot property market, which accounts for about 15 percent of GDP. Source: Xinhu

< style="color: #163449;">RMB depreciation in recent weeks no reason for concern

The seemingly abrupt fall in the value of the Chinese currency against the US dollar in recent weeks is mostly due to a strengthening dollar and such pressure will remain in the short term. However, there is no ground for concern that the Chinese yuan would embark on a one-way street of devaluation, given that the fundamentals of the Chinese economy are sound and the internationalisation of the RMB has steadily moved forward. In anticipation of the rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December, the US dollar index recently surged to its highest level since March. Against such a backdrop, all the other major currencies have headed lower, including the Chinese yuan. But it is noteworthy that while the RMB's exchange rate against the dollar has reached the lowest in six years, it is gaining value against other currencies.

< style="color: #0069a6;">SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

< style="color: #163449;">China launches longest ever manned space mission

China on October 17 successfully launched manned spacecraft Shenzhou-11 carrying two astronauts who will remain in space for thirty three days, the longest mission in the country's manned space program to date. Shenzhou-11, China's sixth manned spacecraft, will dock with space lab Tiangong-2, marking a step closer to its space station ambitions. The spacecraft was launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gobi desert at 7:30 a.m. Beijing time Monday with a Long March-2F Y11 carrier rocket. The spacecraft has entered its designated orbit. The launch was declared a success by Zhang Youxia, commander-in-chief of China's manned space program, about 19 minutes after the blast-off. President Xi Jinping sent a message of congratulations for the successful launch, expressing the hope that "Chinese people will take bigger steps and march further in space probe, to make new contribution to the building of China into a space power." After docking with Tiangong-2, the astronauts will enter the space lab and stay there for thirty days. Source: Xinhua

< style="color: #163449;">China overtakes US in artificial intelligence research

Humanity may still be years if not decades away from producing sentient artificial intelligence. But with the rise of machine-learning services in our smartphones and other devices, one type of narrow, specialised AI has become all the rage. And the research on this branch of AI is only accelerating. In fact, as more industries and policymakers awaken to the benefits of machine learning, two countries appear to be pulling away in the research race. The results will likely have significant implications for the future of AI. If you’re not familiar with the term, "deep learning" is a subset of the overall branch of AI known as machine learning — which basically involves the use of computer algorithms to perform pattern recognition and analysis. It’s this type of AI that powers personal digital assistants like Google Now, for example. The Obama administration has a new strategic plan aimed at spurring US development of artificial intelligence. What's striking is that while the US was an early leader on deep learning research, China has effectively eclipsed it in terms of the number of papers published annually on the subject. The rate of increase is remarkably steep, reflecting how China’s research priorities have changed. Source: South China Morning Post

< style="color: #0069a6;">BIBLIOGRAPHY

Chow Chung-yan, The grain of truth about state monopolies that will haunt Hong Kong’s next leader, South China Morning Post, 20 October 2016 Cary Huang, How the party’s absolute power undermines its efforts to strengthen China’s rule of law, South China Morning Post, 20 October 2016 Bruce Strokes, Unlike the West, India and China embrace globalisation, Quartz, 19 October 2016 Liu Xiaoxue, Indian boycott of Chinese goods results in little political effectGlobal Times, 19 October 2016 Curtis Stone, Kou Jie, The West Would Lose More Than It Gains from Withholding China's Market Economy StatusPeople’s Daily, 20 October 2016 Hu Weijia, China should show tolerance for yuan depreciation and promote market reforms, Global Times, 19 October 2016 Spotlight: China to enhance space capabilities with launch of Shenzhou-11, Xinhua, 17 October 2016 Xinhua Insight: China to launch Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft on Oct. 17’, Xinhua, 16 October 2016

< style="color: #0069a6;">Contributors:

  • Sreeparna Banerjee
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Ambalika Guha
  • Swagata Saha
The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.