Birth rate

Residential buildings under construction in Shanghai, China, on 9 November 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China lines up yet more aid for the property sector, but will it be enough?

Caixin notes that China is poised to roll out more policies to assist developers in an increasingly desperate attempt to arrest a protracted downturn of the multi-trillion-dollar property sector. However, amid the perform storm of changing demographics, Covid-19 disruptions, weakening demand and Beijing’s campaign of deleveraging, industry practitioners are bracing for a tough battle.
Board solution design samples by Synergie Cad are displayed at SEMICON Taiwan 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan, 14 September 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan lacks young passionate workers in semiconductor industry

Taiwan’s semiconductor sector is booming, but the long hours and tough work is driving away the younger generation, who are opting for careers that provide work-life balance. How can the Taiwan government and tech enterprises attract new blood into this industry that is critical to Taiwan's economic growth?
This file photo taken on 2 August 2022 shows a woman pushing a trolley with twins along a street in Beijing, China. (Noel Celis/AFP)

China's 'little emperors' of the 1980s are now the most burdened generation

China has more than 170 million sandwich-generation families. While the sandwich generation grew up in the 80s as "little emperors", they are feeling the strain now with the double pressure of looking after their children and the elderly. Most of them focus on "children first", but if a married couple’s parents live in two different cities, that makes it even harder to care for all four parents at the same time.
A man rides a scooter with two children on board during a Covid-19 lockdown in the Jing'an district of Shanghai, China, on 25 May 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Chinese netizens lament barbarity of one-child policy era

A recent case of a couple looking for their son who was taken from them as a baby and “reallocated” in the 1990s has been circulating online, prompting the question of how many other similar cases of “reallocation” have happened over the years in China. What is the fate of these children, and can they be found?
A Chinese flag flutters near people lining up to get tested at a makeshift nucleic acid testing site, amid Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing, China, 18 May 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Why Xi Jinping's bold experiments with socialism are commendable

While China’s market-based socialism with Chinese characteristics has lifted many out of poverty, creating the Chinese miracle, the ills of abiding by the “laws of the market” should be tackled and reined in. In the ever-evolving model of new socialism, a mechanism needs to be established that can raise and maintain a good standard of living in the absence of economic growth. This is so that people can transcend the pursuit of the material and live their lives with meaning and purpose.
Primary school students work with flour during a cooking lesson in school, in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, China, on 13 May 2022. (Xinhua)

Chinese kids to undergo nine years of culinary training: Parents are worried 

China’s education ministry recently introduced a new curriculum for primary and secondary students with the aim of teaching life skills. From cooking to technology applications, young children will be better equipped to face society. However, parents have voiced their concerns about the added burden on both children and parents.
This file photo taken on 25 April 2021 shows a medical staff member taking care of a newborn baby in the paediatric ward of a hospital in Fuyang in China's eastern Anhui province. (AFP)

China wants to reverse its high abortion rate with pro-birth policies, and young women are not happy

As a result of the country’s now-abolished one-child policy and other factors, abortion has gained wide acceptance among women in China. A recent work plan by the national family planning unit stated its intention to “intervene” in abortions for unmarried women has sparked backlash that women would lose their reproductive autonomy. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong speaks with researchers and Chinese women to understand the policy implications on women’s rights and how the issue will impact China’s shrinking birth rate.
Children play with an ice sculpture of three astronauts in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, on 28 December 2021. (AFP)

Why extended maternity leave will not encourage childbirth in China

Li Jingkui explains that having children is very much an economic decision with hard choices involved, particularly for women. Research has shown that women’s chances of gaining employment after bearing their first child fall by 6.6%, and by another 9.3% after the second child. The government believes that an extended maternity leave policy will aid women and increase the nation’s fertility rate, but the reality may be much to the contrary.
People walk along a street in Beijing, China, on 12 October 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Is a zero-Covid policy adversely affecting China’s economic recovery?

In the face of some turbulence in China’s economic indicators lately, academic Xu Le looks at certain bright spots amid falling aggregate demand and aggregate supply for a realistic gauge of China’s economic prospects in the coming months.