Chinese state media slams ‘hype’ about India’s population boom

Government mouthpiece accuses Western media of using China’s population decline to ‘bad mouth’ country.

Chinese state media CCTV has claimed the US is stepping up efforts to contain China's development [Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters]

Western media reports on China’s population being overtaken by India deliberately ignore China’s development, using the topic to “bad mouth” it and advocate decoupling, China’s state broadcaster CCTV has said.

CCTV’s sharply worded commentary on Thursday said the subtext from Western media in recent years was that China’s development was in “big trouble” and that when the country’s demographic dividend disappears, it will decline and the global economy will also suffer.

“They slandered all the way and China has developed all the way, creating a miracle of sustainable and stable economic development with a huge population,” CCTV said.

India is overtaking China as the world’s most populous nation and will have almost 3 million more people than its neighbour by the middle of this year, data released on Wednesday by the United Nations showed.

“The United States is stepping up efforts to contain China’s development and advocate further decoupling and found new hype points from the United Nations report,” CCTV said, adding that the West simply equated population size with development achievements.

“Such hype lacks a basic understanding of the law of population development. With the development of human society today, the decrease in birth rate and decline in willingness to bear children are common problems faced by the whole world.”

CCTV added that Western developed countries generally faced problems such as labour shortages.

Last year, China’s population fell for the first time in 60 years, a historic turn expected to usher in a long period of decline in citizen numbers, with profound implications for its economy and the world.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said population dividends did not only depend on quantity but also quality.

“Population is important but talents are also important… China has taken active measures to respond to population ageing,” Wang told reporters on Wednesday.

Source: Reuters