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  • Good morning everyone. Thank you all for coming to our presentation.

  • Yes, we're very pleased to be able to talk to you about such an important issue today.

  • My name is Thomas, and this is Wing, and we're from both students studying business here

  • at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. As part of our studies, we have put together

  • a short presentation about a very important topic.

  • We are sure that many of you are familiar with this issue, but for the benefit of (those)

  • who aren't, let's take a moment to introduce the subject.

  • What do you think is going on in this photo? Audience: Giving that man a prize?

  • Good guess, but, no, actually that man works in the store.

  • What do you think that says about the workforce these days?

  • Audience: That the population is getting older, and people want to work for longer?

  • Exactly, and that's what we're going to talk about today, China's ageing population.

  • We have divided the presentation into four parts.

  • First, I'll talk about the background of China's ageing population, and second, its

  • causes. Then, Thomas will briefly present its effects

  • before looking at some possible solutions (for the ageing population).

  • He will also give a brief conclusion. We'll be talking for around ten minutes, and

  • we welcome any questions (that you may have) at the end.

  • OK, first of all, let's look at the problem of ageing populations.

  • According to the World Health Organization, the number of elderly people, defined as (those)

  • over 60 years old, will have doubled, from 11% in 2000 to 22% by 2050.

  • This means that there will be around 2 billion elderly people all over the world by 2050.

  • The rapid growth of elderly populations will be more significant in developing countries,

  • like China. Scholars have figured out the causes of China's

  • ageing population by studying the population policy and the social phenomena in China.

  • I've identified three main causes.

  • Now, I'd like to discuss the first main cause, the early population policy.

  • The population policy in China has (been) changing since the 1950s.

  • In the 1950s and 1960s, women were encouraged to have children.

  • This can be seen by this quote from Mao Zedong in 1949.

  • As Matthew Potts in his 2006 article shows, this led to a baby boom in (the) 1950s and early 1960s.

  • The population pyramid in 1950 showed that

  • the younger generation, who were aged 14 or below, comprised about 40% of the total population.

  • The elderly population, that is people over 60 years old, was less than 6%.

  • This has been the foundation of the large elderly population in China today

  • And this leads me to the second main cause of China's ageing population, the one child policy.

  • The Chinese Government soon found that the growing population was an obstacle to economic

  • development after the famine caused by the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s.

  • Therefore, the government started promoting birth control from the mid 1960s.

  • The "later, longer, fewer" policy was launched.

  • This meant later marriage, fewer children and longer spacing between children.

  • And then, as Alcorn and Bao have shown, in 1979 the Chinese government announced the

  • one child policy. The policy only allowed couples to have one

  • child. As a result, there has been a rapid drop in

  • the fertility rate. The shape of (the) population pyramid has changed.

  • In 2010, the population under 14 years old had dropped by 50%; they only made up about

  • one fifth of the total population.

  • At the same time, the elderly population had almost doubled, up to more than one in ten

  • of the total population.

  • Now, let's look at the third factor that contributes to China's low fertility rate.

  • That is the changing social phenomena.

  • Researchers have pointed out that the rising cost of living and increasing education expenses

  • have discouraged young couples from having children.

  • Many couples choose to maintain their high living standard by not having children.

  • Faure and Fang have shown that the number of DINK couples, that means "double income,

  • no kid", have gone up. This further lowers the fertility rate in

  • China and pushes China towards population imbalance.

  • The WHO estimates that there will be only about 15% of the total population aged 14 or below,

  • and almost one third will be elderly in China by twenty fifty.

  • Well, that's all I have to say about the causes of China's ageing population.

  • I've looked at three causes; first China's policy of encouraging more births in the 1950s

  • and early 1960s. Then the introduction of policies that favoured

  • smaller families, ending in (the) one child policy in 1979.

  • And finally the social phenomena of DINK couples. Now I shall hand over to Thomas, who will

  • discuss the effects of the causes and the possible solutions for the problem. Thomas,

  • over to you. Thank you Wing.

  • So, (I am) Thomas. I'm going to briefly talk about the effects

  • of the ageing population, and (then) look at some solutions for these problems.

  • So, as a paper by Banister and colleagues from 2010 shows, one of the first effects

  • is a labour shortage in China. A second negative effect is the surge in demand

  • for services for the elderly. Both these effects are going to present challenges

  • for the Chinese government. Let's now consider some solutions.

  • First, let's look at the possible solutions for a labour shortage.

  • The Chinese government should consider both short-term and long-term solutions.

  • In (the) short term, the government could extend the retirement age to encourage those over

  • 60 years old, who are still able and willing to work, to return to the labour market.

  • This would help to stabilise the population of the present labour force.

  • In the long term, the government should propose policies that encourage fertility.

  • As reported by an article in the journal Science, many academics think that the government should

  • relax the one child policy, and allow couples to have more than one child.

  • In order to motivate more couples to give birth, the government might consider giving

  • tax breaks to parents. The team led by Li in 2011 argues that this

  • reduces the cost of living and education when raising children, which would encourage parenthood.

  • These could possibly raise the birth rate and provide more labour in the future.

  • Now, I'd like to move on to the solution to the surge in demand for elderly services.

  • I think there are two main solutions here. First, Zhang and Goza have suggested in 2006

  • that the central government should increase the elderly's financial independence.

  • Private pension funds and health insurance should be promoted.

  • As Li and his colleagues point out, money for these funds could be collected either

  • compulsorily or voluntarily. This would ease the financial burden of the

  • future generation in elderly care. A second solution is that the local governments

  • should provide more elderly homes and centres to their residents.

  • The participation of the general public and charity organisations will be crucial for

  • the establishment and the operation of the homes and centres.

  • This is because they will provide manpower support to the homes and centres and help

  • to collect funds for private pensions and health insurance.

  • Well, I think that covers most of the things we want to say today about China's ageing

  • population. Turning to my conclusion, I'd like to summarise

  • our main points. In our presentation, I have shown the effects

  • and some solutions for the ageing population problem in China.

  • My partner Wing has told you about the major causes: the inconsistent population policies

  • of the Chinese government and the changing social phenomena.

  • I briefly defined and discussed two effects - the labour shortage and surge in demand of

  • elderly services in the near future. Finally, I mentioned some possible solutions

  • to these problems, including extending the retirement age, relaxing the one child policy,

  • providing tax breaks for parents, launching a policy for ensuring a quality of life, and

  • creating more homes and centres for the elderly. So, that's the end of our presentation.

  • Thank you for listening and I hope that you've found our presentation informative.

  • Here is our full reference list. And now, we'd be happy to answer any questions

  • you have. Are there any questions?

  • Audience: As you said at the beginning of the presentation, the growth of the elderly population

  • in China will be more significant in the future. Could you tell us why it is more significant

  • as developed countries have ageing populations as well?

  • Thank you for your question. That's a very good question. What makes the growth of (the) elderly population

  • in China significant is the speed of the growth. In most of the European countries, like France,

  • they have taken centuries to double their elderly population.

  • But, China has only needed 25 years to do the same.

  • So, that's why we think that the growth of the elderly population in China is significant.

  • Does that answer your question? Audience: Yes, thank you.

  • So, would anyone else like to raise another question?

  • Audience: As far as I see (it), many Chinese people believe in filial piety.

  • They take good care of their parents at home by themselves.

  • So, can you tell us why there will be a surge in demand for elderly services in the future?

  • Interesting question. You're right, in the past century, elderly

  • care services were mainly provided by individual households, which meant Chinese people were

  • taking care of their (own) parents. This was possible because most of the couples

  • had more than one child. But, the family structure's changed after

  • all these years. The new family structure will be a 4-2-1 structure.

  • That means there are four grandparents, two parents and one child.

  • The only child in the family won't be able to take care of his or her grandparents and

  • parents at the same time in the future. So, that's why we believe there will be a surge in

  • demand for elderly services in the future. (Have) I answered your question?

  • Audience: Yes, that's fine, thanks!

Good morning everyone. Thank you all for coming to our presentation.

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