Wang Feng

China has reached a tipping point. Even by the government’s own reckoning, its population shrank last year—the beginning of a long fall that demographers predict will persist for the rest of the century. The main reason: China’s birth rate has plummeted to its lowest level since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. … “This is an unprecedented, historical decline,” says Wang Feng, a sociologist at the University of California, Irvine. “By the end of the century, China will be quite unrecognisable in terms of what we know about China’s history and position in the world.”

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