Editor's note: The outcome of the seventh national population census released on Tuesday has attracted wide attention. Professor Tang Yao, along with other scholars, shared his views with China Daily on how China should better adapt to population trends.
China is at the crossroads of industrialization and facing daunting challenges, such as an aging population and declining fertility rates. Maintaining the reasonable population growth and demographic change will play key roles in China's economic and social development.
Under these circumstances, China needs to prioritize three things to solve the population problem.
First, in order to lay a solid foundation for China's demographic development strategy, the country must boost scientific innovation and deepen institutional reform to unleash productive forces, improve production efficiency and foster high-quality development.
Second, the government has to strengthen the internal circulation of the "dual circulation" development paradigm to guarantee reasonable and fair payment for labor, so as to encourage people to have children.
Third, regional coordination has to be encouraged to ensure equitable distribution and consumption. Public services and transportation must be guaranteed to increase employment opportunities in underdeveloped areas. The government also needs to introduce more services for education, healthcare and elder care to reduce the cost of childbirth.
The population problem and economic development are closely linked. After the government released the results of the seventh national census, it should put more focus on high-quality development, demographic policies and balanced development of people.
This article was first published by China Daily on May 11th 2021.