Growth is often used as a mantra of corporate America and those who associate constant expansion with ‘progress’. However, growth is also finite, it does not happen forever, and it is not reasonable to believe in this concept because things just don’t keep growing, as contractions are natural.
For many years, the Chinese Communist Party lauded the idea of such growth, but with regard to population, even in spite of their attempts to limit population size. Now according to the Financial Times, China is set to release report- but which will not normally come later this year -showing that China is undergoing a notable population decline.
China is set to report its first population decline since the famine that accompanied the Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong’s disastrous economic policy in the late 1950s that caused the deaths of tens of millions of people.
The current fall in population comes despite the relaxation of strict family planning policies, which was meant to reverse the falling birth rate of the world’s most populous country.
The latest Chinese census, which was completed in December but has yet to be made public, is expected to report the total population of the country at less than 1.4bn, according to people familiar with the research. In 2019, China’s population was reported to have exceeded the 1.4bn mark.
The people cautioned, however, that the figure was considered very sensitive and would not be released until multiple government departments had reached a consensus on the data and its implications.
“The census results will have a huge impact on how the Chinese people see their country and how various government departments work,” said Huang Wenzheng, a fellow at the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think-tank. “They need to be handled very carefully.” (source)
This is not a surprise, but it is a serious issue because it foreshadows China’s future.
For years, China wanted to restrict fertility in spite of the desire to show ‘growth’, and the reasons are many for this, but the tangible reality is that this lead to the creation and enforcement of the ‘one-child policy’ that resulted in tens of millions of forced abortions, sterilizations, the mass spread of anti-fertility means, and given how in China boys historically are favored over girls, a serious population imbalance amid a declining population, to such a point where men outnumber women now in among the younger generations as high as a 13:10 to 14:10 ratio. When one considers how Chinas population is at least 42% over 45 years of age and that number is set to rise dramatically, and also how Chinese marriage rates are plummeting amid the spread of feminism that has encouraged the delay of marriage and family life for women as well as created a desire to, while having been repealed, continue the ‘one-child policy’ in most family structures, what we are seeing emerge here is not just a simple ‘bump’ in a line, or even part of a natural cycle of growth and decline found in any society. It is instead the visible beginnings of the trend warned about by demographers of mass population decline that, since people are the most important asset of any nation, will most likely strip China of her global power ambitions. It may also foreshadow another revolution in China, and possibly occupation from without, as this is the historical pattern that she often falls into when she experiences a decline in her power.
In China, there is an ancient concept known as the “Mandate of Heaven”, where it is believed that the King or Emperor rules by the will of the divine, and when he is overthrown, it is because his authority to rule has been removed by the same source who gave it to him. Now while this is historically a pagan concept, it is very real even in modern Chinese thought and in spite of attempts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to squash it or turn it into at best an almost-forgotten historical memory, even they fear it, because it suggests that even they are not exempt from its effects. Considering how repressive the CCP has been to its own people, and the possibility of an emerging demographic changes- which also could lead to a migration crisis in the future, should the inability to fulfill domestic jobs emerge as a concern -might again call the Mandate of Heaven on the CCP and bring about another revolution as it so often has.