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Friday, December 22, 2023

CCP spokesman’s unfortunate comments over India’s population

According to the latest United Nations Population Fund data, India surpassed China to become the world’s most populous nation with 142.86 crore people. China with a population of 142.57 million, has now become the second-most populous country.

In this latest development, China’s reaction displayed slivers of its racist mindset. When asked for his reaction to the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing that “when assessing a country’s demographic dividend, we need to look at not just the size but also the quality of its population.

Size matters, but what matters more is talent resource. Nearly 900 million out of the 1.4 billion Chinese are of working age and on average have received 10.9 years of education,” he said.

The statement reflects China’s insecurities as even after being the second most populated country, China’s working age population is drastically declining. It is an established fact that the major reason Chinese economy thrived in the past decades was due to the abundance of cheap and forced labour and not the ‘quality’ and high skill of their demographic dividend. I’m comparison, many top Indian brains are currently leading Fortune 500 companies.

As far as the quality of the work force is concerned, ‘Made in China’ products are infamous for their poor and cheap quality across the world. While CCP might claim otherwise, there are evidences that bad business ethics, corruption, disrespect for the well being of citizens and an autocratic powerful elite class in China has become the root cause of such declining quality of their products and services. A report published in the New York Times documented how corruption and lying have become endemic among the Chinese professional class. It says there are “dishonest practices that permeate society, including students who cheat on college entrance exams, scholars who promote fake or unoriginal research, and dairy companies that sell poisoned milk to infants.” It has become a part of their culture. During the COVID-19 pandemic, China faced criticism for supplying poor PPE kits to COVID-affected countries across the world.

It is totally hypocritical of the CCP to talk about India’s demographic dividend and aspects of ‘quality’ when domestically China is facing much serious issues related to the condition of its labour population. The seventh national population census of the People’s Republic of China suggests a potential Chinese labour force gap for the next decade and beyond. The projected annual labour force gap is around 11.8 million. Structural unemployment is rampant in China’s high-skilled sector. According to a World Economic Forum report, China has 170 million skilled workers, but among the total employed population, only 7% are high-skilled personnel deemed capable of performing complicated tasks and able to adapt quickly to technological changes. So, China’s quality of workforce is not as superior as it tries to project. It has size and scale but not enough quality.

We will like to remind Chinese officials that uncalculated comments like this show them in bad light and might also adversely affect the reputation of Chinese people living abroad.

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