Ageing population

Security personnel guard an entrance to a residential area under lockdown due to Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing, China, on 26 November 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Do not expect a U-turn of China's Covid policy

China’s Covid-19 strategy has constantly been in the process of tightening and easing restrictions, and the key challenges now will be addressing the rate of deaths and critical cases among the elderly, preventing a squeeze on medical resources and mitigating public doubts about Covid-19 control policies.
People use umbrellas as they walk along Qianmen street in Beijing, China, on 18 August 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Why Chinese youths are not spending

Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong notes that consumer spending attitudes have changed since the pandemic, especially among Chinese youths — the biggest spending market. This spells a more difficult road to recovery for China’s ailing economy.
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.
This photo taken on 16 August 2022 shows a section of a parched riverbed along the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China. (AFP)

Electricity woes further dampen China’s hopes of economic recovery

While China has yet to emerge from the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and its ailing real estate sector, power shortages caused by severe weather conditions are adding to its woes. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more about the severity of the power crunch, and its far-reaching impact across regions and industries.
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.
As Taiwan is set to become a super-aged society in 2025, what is the plight of the elderly destitute in an ageing Taiwan?

Growing old alone: Elderly poor want better housing, better care in Taiwan

Taiwan is set to become a super-aged society in 2025. At present, a considerable proportion of its elderly face poor living conditions, with 430,000 living in old residential buildings without elevator access. There is also a sizeable number of elderly folk who are homeless and living on the streets. What are the authorities doing to meet the living needs of the elderly and provide them with support? How are community groups playing a role?
People wearing protective masks visit a main shopping area in Shanghai, China, 21 January 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China becoming the biggest economy in ten years is not a given 

Analysts predict that China will overtake the US as the world’s leading economy in the next decade, but external military conflicts and internal struggles could thwart the Asian giant's ambitions. Political commentator Zhou Nongjian has the details.
A couple poses during a pre-nuptial photography session in front of Drum Tower in Beijing, China, on 21 December 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Elderly Chinese want a second chance at love

Demand for matchmaking services and platforms is on the rise for China’s growing elderly population. Though these people have plenty of life experience, it seems they still conform to the expectations of society, be it assessing a mate by monetary criteria or fearing gossip for seeking a second chance at love. Under the weight of societal norms, their quest for love is riddled with obstacles. On a lighter note, the plethora of elderly matchmaking variety shows that have spawned do provide some entertainment and fun for this segment of the population.
A barber cuts a man's hair along a road in Beijing, China, on 7 December 2021. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

How being a good Samaritan can ‘spoil the market’

While some businessmen have good intentions in offering goods and services at lower prices, they could also be “spoiling the market” and making it harder for others to make a living. Such actions may invite backlash, whether in village scuffles, or writ large, protests and anti-dumping measures between countries. China, the world’s factory, has borne the brunt of such pushback. Industries in other countries are affected, as capital moves freely between borders but labour stays in place. Those who feel they are losing out may hold grudges and end up dealing a big blow to society.