China’s central bank warns the country will lose its edge over the US because of birth controls

The bank wants the government to loosen birth control policies. Between 2019 and 2050, China's population might shrink by 32 million. The number of people of working age will drop while pensioners will grow. For US Intelligence, demographic decline will complicate China’s rise.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China's Central Bank, has released a report in which it urges the government to scrap birth controls to avoid losing its economic edge over the United States.

According to UN forecasts, China's population will shrink by 32 million between 2019 and 2050 whilst the US should add 50 million to its own population.

If present trends continue, China can expect to have proportionately fewer people of working age and more seniors than the US in the next 30 years.

The country's economic boom over the past 40 years has been built on cheap labour, and a share of working-age population, aged between 15 and 64, that is larger than that of non-working people.

However, the PBOC deems the one-child policy introduced more than 40 years ago, a failure. Easing it in 2106 to allow two children per couple has not changed the situation.

According to the bank’s study, loosening births must happen now when many couples still want more children; otherwise, socio-economic trends could change in the future, like in many developed countries.

The Central Bank's numbers are in line with the government's. On 26 February, Deputy Minister for Human Resources and Social Security You Jun acknowledged that within five years the country will lose 35 million adults of working age.

Overall economic, environmental and demographic vulnerabilities threaten to complicate China’s ability to manage the transition to the dominant role it aspires in the decades ahead, this according to Avril Haines, current director of National Intelligence, speaking to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.