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China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft completes historic Mars landing | Space News From “Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera”



Solar-powered rover, named Zhurong, will now survey the landing site before departing from its platform to conduct inspections.An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft successfully landed on the surface of Mars on Saturday, state news agency Xinhua reported, making China the second space-faring nation after the United States to land on the Red Planet.
The Tianwen-1 spacecraft landed on a site on a vast plain known as Utopia Planitia, “leaving a Chinese footprint on Mars for the first time”, Xinhua said.
The craft left its parked orbit at about 17:00 GMT Friday (1am Beijing time Saturday).
The landing module separated from the orbiter three hours later and entered the Martian atmosphere, the official China Space News said.
It said the landing process consisted of “nine minutes of terror” as the module decelerates and then slowly descends.

A solar-powered rover, named Zhurong, will now survey the landing site before departing from its platform to conduct inspections. Named after a mythical Chinese god of fire, Zhurong has six scientific instruments including a high-resolution topography camera.
The rover will study the planet’s surface soil and atmosphere. Zhurong will also look for signs of ancient life, including any sub-surface water and ice, using ground-penetrating radar.
Tianwen-1, or “Questions to Heaven”, named after a Chinese poem written two millennia ago, is China’s first independent mission to Mars. A probe co-launched with Russia in 2011 failed to leave the Earth’s orbit.
The five-tonne spacecraft blasted off from the southern Chinese island of Hainan in July last year, launched by the powerful Long March 5 rocket.
After more than six months in transit, Tianwen-1 reached Mars in February, where it had been in orbit since.
The five-tonne spacecraft blasted off from the southern Chinese island of Hainan in July last year, launched by the powerful Long March 5 rocket [File: China Daily via Reuters]If Zhurong is successfully deployed, China would be the first country to orbit, land and release a rover in its maiden mission to Mars.
Tianwen-1 was one of three that reached Mars in February, with US rover Perseverance successfully touching down on February 18 in a huge depression called Jezero Crater, more than 2,000km away from Utopia Planitia.
Hope – the third spacecraft that arrived at Mars in February this year – is not designed to make a landing. Launched by the United Arab Emirates, it is currently orbiting above Mars gathering data on its weather and atmosphere.
The first successful landing ever was made by NASA’s Viking 1 in July 1976 and then by Viking 2 in September that year. A Mars probe launched by the former Soviet Union landed in December 1971, but communication was lost seconds after landing.
China is pursuing an ambitious space programme. It is testing reusable spacecraft and is also planning to establish a crewed lunar research station.
In a commentary published on Saturday, Xinhua said China was “not looking to compete for leadership in space” but was committed to “unveiling the secrets of the universe and contributing to humanity’s peaceful use of space”.







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China’s Zhurong Rover Makes History With Mars Landing From “NDTV News – World-news”



The mission “successfully landed in the pre-selected area”, state broadcaster CCTV saidBeijing, China: China’s probe to Mars touched down on the Red Planet early Saturday to deploy its Zhurong rover, state media reported, a triumph for Beijing’s increasingly bold space ambitions and a history-making feat for a nation on its first-ever Martian mission.The lander carrying Zhurong completed the treacherous descent through the Martian atmosphere using a parachute to navigate the “seven minutes of terror” as it is known, aiming for a vast northern lava plain known as the Utopia Planitia.The mission “successfully landed in the pre-selected area”, state broadcaster CCTV said, launching a special TV programme dedicated to the mission called “Nihao Mars”.The official Xinhua news agency cited the China National Space Administration (CNSA) in confirming the touchdown.It makes China the first country to carry out an orbiting, landing and roving operation during its first mission to Mars — a feat unmatched by the only other two nations to reach the Red Planet so far, the US and Russia.China has now sent astronauts into space, powered probes to the Moon and landed a rover on Mars, the most prestigious of all prizes in the competition for dominion of space.Three-month missionZhurong, named after a Chinese mythical fire god, arrives a few months behind America’s latest probe to Mars — Perseverance — as the show of technological might between the two superpowers plays out beyond the bounds of Earth.Six-wheeled, solar-powered and roughly 240 kilograms, the Chinese rover is on a quest to collect and analyse rock samples from Mars’ surface.The launch of China’s Tianwen-1 Mars probe which carried the rover last July marked a major milestone in China’s space programme.The spacecraft entered Mars’ orbit in February and after a prolonged silence state media announced it had reached the “crucial touchdown stage” on Friday.The landing was set to be a nail-biter for the China National Space Administration (CNSA), with state media describing the process of using a parachute, rocket to slow descent and buffer legs as “the most challenging part of the mission”.It is expected to spend around three months there taking photos and harvesting geographical data.The complicated landing process is called the “seven minutes of terror” because it happens faster than radio signals can reach Earth from Mars, meaning communications are limited.Several US, Russian and European attempts to land rovers on Mars have failed in the past, most recently in 2016 with the crash-landing of the Schiaparelli joint Russian-European spacecraft.The latest successful arrival came in February, when US space agency NASA landed its rover Perseverance, which has since been exploring the planet. The US rover launched a small robotic helicopter on Mars which was the first ever powered flight on another planet.The country has come a long way in its race to catch up with the United States and Russia, whose astronauts and cosmonauts have decades of experience in space exploration.China successfully launched the first module of its new space station last month with hopes of having it crewed by 2022 and eventually sending humans to the Moon.Last week a segment of the Chinese Long March 5B rocket disintegrated over the Indian Ocean in an uncontrolled landing back to Earth.That drew criticism from the United States and other nations for a breach of etiquette governing the return of space debris to earth, with officials saying the remnants had the potential to endanger life and property.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)







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Why China’s Communist Party maintains a tight grip on the military From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



This is the third in the South China Morning Post’s series of explainers about China’s Communist Party, in the lead-up to the party’s 100th anniversary in July. In this piece, Josephine Ma looks into the relationship between the party and the military.From a party that fought a guerilla war to one of the longest-running single-party regimes in modern history, the Communist Party of China has paid great attention to its control over the military, which is now the largest in the world with 2 million active personnel.In 1927, chairman Mao Zedong famously said that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. This was the year the Chinese communists staged the Nanchang uprising against the ruling nationalist government.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.At the time, the Communist Party largely existed in the form of an armed rebellion against the ruling Kuomintang party. The revolutionary force, initially called the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, was later renamed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).It was the PLA that put the Communist Party in power when it won the Chinese Civil War in 1949. In the early years of its rule, all Communist Party leaders – from senior leaders such as Mao and Deng Xiaoping, to more junior figures such as Bo Yibo and Xi Zhongxun – had military experience.As the founder, operator and leader of the army, the Communist Party has a closer relationship with the military than most political parties around the world.Since the Communist Party’s ideology states that the party represents the interests of the people, the party has argued that having the military serve the party is tantamount to serving the state and the Chinese people.Part of Mao’s strategy to achieve this control over the army was to establish a Communist Party cell in every grass-roots military unit, to ensure loyalty to the party’s decisions and ideology throughout.Story continuesThe collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 further convinced the party it must maintain a tight grip on the military so its rule would not be challenged.”The Russian Communist Party let go of the authority over the military and therefore its regime was overthrown,” warned a 2015 article published in the official army newspaper PLA Daily.The PLA reports to the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party and any talk of nationalising the military – suggesting the military would serve any elected political party – can be seen as subversive in China.In theory, the PLA is also accountable to the National People’s Congress, the highest organ of state power and the national legislature, through a parallel reporting line to another CMC under the State Council, China’s cabinet.But the two CMCs consist of exactly the same members, and the chairman of both is usually the leader of the party – currently President Xi Jinping.The lack of real power the cabinet has over the PLA was clearly demonstrated in 2008 when a magnitude-8 earthquake hit Wenchuan in the Sichuan region leaving 87,000 dead, 370,000 injured and 5 million homeless.When then-premier Wen Jiabao tried to mobilise the military to help with rescue work on the first day, the PLA refused to move until it was commanded to do so by the CMC the next day.In addition to national defence and helping out with disaster and emergency relief efforts, the PLA has also played an unusually important role in the country’s economic and social development. PLA soldiers helped build the Shenzhen special economic zone, and worked at the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a paramilitary economic organisation tasked with building and operating farms and settlements in the western Xinjiang region.Unlike the defence ministries of other countries, the Ministry of National Defence in China mainly plays the role of engaging foreign countries. Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe is a member of the Communist Party’s CMC.In 1938, Mao wrote in an article that “the party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the party”.Apart from making it clear the party had to control the military, Mao also wanted to make sure the military would not decide who would be the party leader. But in the past, there have been times when the CMC chairman faced difficulty gaining full control of the military.The position of CMC chairman did not stop then-general secretary Jiang Zemin from facing a fierce power struggle with Yang Shangkun and his half-brother Yang Baibing – CMC secretary general and vice-chairman, and PLA political commissar respectively – in the 1980s and early 1990s. The two brothers controlled the army, and it was only with Deng’s backing that Jiang finally sidelined them.When Jiang Zemin passed the baton to Hu Jintao, the latter – a civilian – had a hard time commanding respect as CMC chairman. His two deputies, generals Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, effectively took control of the army’s staff affairs right under his nose.After Xi came into power in 2012, he launched a sweeping anti-corruption campaign in the military and smashed the strongholds of many interest groups in the army.For decades, the military was known to be rife with corruption starting around the 1980s, when military personnel were allowed to run businesses to support their expenses. Such practices were banned in 1998 but corruption was still rampant in the army.In 2015, Xi moved to end the PLA’s profit-making activities and ordered it to focus on transforming into a modern army that could win the wars.Even though the transition from Hu to Xi was hailed by many as a rare peaceful power transition in the party’s history, Xi continued to have his power challenged.Threats included Communist Party “princeling” Bo Xilai, the son of prominent party leader Bo Yibo, then-state security chief Zhou Yongkang, as well as generals Guo and Xu.Between 2013 and 2015, Xi purged all these threats from the party in a sweeping anti-corruption campaign, while accusing his rivals of planning a coup.In November 2014, Xi used the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the 1929 Gutian Conference to remind the 420 generals and senior military officials of Mao’s dictum about the party’s absolute control of the military.Xi also personally headed a commission to shake up the PLA, and successfully uprooted the strongholds of vested interest groups by reorganising the headquarters, the troops and the military regions.He was named “commander-in-chief” in 2016, similar to the US president’s position as the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces, establishing command over the country’s ground, naval, air and rocket forces.In 2017, China amended the party charter to state that all military forces in China were accountable to the CMC chairman, putting in black and white in the party’s most important document that the PLA and the paramilitary forces must be absolutely loyal to the CMC chairman, which is currently Xi. The president said the reforms were part of his efforts to turn the world’s largest armed forces into a modern military, on par with its Western counterparts.Reforms were also introduced to bring the 1.5 million-strong paramilitary police force, the People’s Armed Police Force (PAP), under the sole command of the CMC. Analysts said the change put the PAP directly under Xi’s control.Previously, the PAP came under a dual command structure of the CMC and the State Council via the Ministry of Public Security.It serves as a backup for the military in times of war and domestically has a role in putting down protests and counterterrorism – particularly in areas such as the restive far-western Xinjiang region – as well as border defence and firefighting.In January this year, China further revised its National Defence Law to weaken the role of the State Council in formulating military policy, handing full decision-making powers to the CMC.All of this has expanded the power of the CMC, headed by Xi, to mobilise military and civilian resources in defence of the national interest, both at home and abroad.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.







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Uyghur imams targeted in China’s Xinjiang crackdown From “BBC News – World”



According to Bunin, only 7,714 criminal verdicts are available for Xinjiang for 2018, despite the region logging 74,348 criminal cases that year. The near total absence of verdicts on charges typically levied against religious Uyghurs, like “propagating extremism” and “inciting separatism”, suggests China is intentionally scrubbing the record.







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China’s aging population could be a ‘big shock’ to global supply chain From “International: Top News And Analysis”



An ANZ economist warned on Wednesday that China’s aging population will have a big impact on the world as the global supply chain is highly reliant on the world’s second-largest economy.China’s once-a-decade census released on Tuesday showed the population of the mainland grew to 1.41 billion people as of Nov. 1, 2020. That was the slowest growth rate since the 1950s.”The trend of the old age dependency is going to rise … This is a warning not only for China, but also across the whole world, as China is the core of the supply chain,” Raymond Yeung, Greater China chief economist at ANZ, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.” “Over the next few years, China will be losing 70 million (of its) workforce … so this is a big shock to the global supply chain.”Two elderly women sit on a roadside bench in China. By 2050, one third of the Chinese population will be above 60 years old.Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty ImagesHe added that another possible impact would be on financial markets, as China’s high savings rate has been supporting global markets. China has one of the world’s highest savings rates among individuals, and many retail investors are investing their extra cash, or the money is being held in pension funds.The census also showed that births continued to fall, dropping 15% in 2020 — a fourth straight year of decline.Experts have said that China’s aging problem goes beyond its one-child policy and that other changes are needed to boost growth as births fall and its population ages. Similar to other major economies, high housing and educational costs in China have deterred people from having children in recent years.I think this is a very pressing issue, that China really needs to tame this grey rhino, as everybody knows the problem is there, everybody knows they need to do something.Raymond YeungGreater China chief economist, ANZYeung told CNBC that the country needs to boost its labor productivity instead.He said that the country’s falling birth rate is unlikely to reverse, even if it relaxes its one-child policy.”More importantly, China (should) continue to sustain growth through technological development, go for high tech, go for high value-add, go for transformation of the whole supply chain, in order to support the economic growth on a sustainable basis,” he said, adding that this is a “more realistic” approach than focusing on its population numbers.  China’s economy has relied heavily on industries such as manufacturing that require large amounts of cheap labor. But rising wages are making Chinese factories less attractive, while workers will need higher skills to help the country become more innovative.”I think this is a very pressing issue, that China really needs to tame this grey rhino, as everybody knows the problem is there, everybody knows they need to do something,” he said.The term “grey rhino” refers to highly obvious, yet ignored threats.— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.







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US Took Note Of China’s Warning To Bangladesh Against Quad: Official From “NDTV News – World-news”



China has warned Bangladesh against joining the US-led Quad alliance. (FILE)Washington: The US has taken note of a Chinese diplomat’s statement warning Bangladesh against joining the Quad, the informal grouping of Australia, India, Japan and America to coordinate in the Indo-Pacific region, a top State Department official has said.State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference on Tuesday that the US has an incredibly strong relationship with Bangladesh.”We have taken note of that statement from the PRC (People’s Republic of China) ambassador to Bangladesh.”What we would say is that we respect Bangladesh’s sovereignty and we respect Bangladesh’s right to make foreign policy decisions for itself,” Price said.Responding to a question, he said that the United States is close with its partners on a range of issues from economic growth to climate change to humanitarian issues.”When it comes to the Quad, we have said this before… it’s an informal, essential, multilateral mechanism that right now convenes like-minded democracies, the United States, India, Australia and Japan to coordinate in the Indo-Pacific and fundamentally to push forward our goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Price said.In a provocative remark on Monday, China’s ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming warned Bangladesh against joining the US-led Quad alliance, saying that Dhaka’s participation in the anti-Beijing “club” would result in “substantial damage” to bilateral relations.”Obviously, it will not be a good idea for Bangladesh to participate in this small club of four (Quad) because it will substantially damage our bilateral relationship,” Li said at a virtual meeting organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh.Bangladesh’s foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen described the Chinese envoy’s comment as “very unfortunate” and “aggressive”.”We are an independent and sovereign state. We decide our foreign policy,” he said.Initiated in 2007, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, Quad for short, is an informal grouping of the US, India, Australia and Japan.China has vehemently opposed the formation of the Quad with a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman emphasising in March that exchanges and cooperation between countries should help expand mutual understanding and trust, instead of targeting or harming the interests of third parties.The Quad member countries have resolved to uphold a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific amid growing Chinese assertiveness in the strategically vital region.The first summit of the Quad leaders was hosted by US President Joe Biden on March 12 and the virtual meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.The four Quad leaders have vowed to strive for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion, sending a clear message to China against its aggressive actions in the region.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)







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China’s ‘long-term time bomb’: Falling births drive slow population growth From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



People walk along Nanjing Pedestrian Road. Picture credits ( Reuters )China’s population is growing at its slowest pace since the 1960s, with falling births and a greying workforce presenting the Communist Party with one of its gravest social and economic challenges. Figures for a census conducted last year and released on Tuesday showed the country’s population at just over 1.4 billion people, about 72 million more than the 1.34 billion who were counted in the last census, in 2010. Only 12 million babies were born in China last year, according to Ning Jizhe, the head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the fourth year in a row that births have fallen in the country. That makes it the lowest official number of births since 1961. The figures show China faces a crisis that could stunt growth in the world’s second-largest economy. China faces aging-related challenges but its households live on much lower incomes on average than US and elsewhere. Beijing is now under greater pressure to abandon its family planning policies; overhaul an economic model that has relied on a huge population and a growing pool of workers; and plug yawning gaps in health care and pensions. The new figure puts the average annual growth rate at 0.53% over the past decade, down from 0.57% from 2000 to 2010. This leaves it on course to be surpassed by India as the world’s most populous nation in coming years. They showed the population is aging rapidly. People over the age of 65 now account for 13.5% of the population, up from 8.9% in 2010. FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail







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China’s Full Truck Alliance could file for $30 billion US IPO this week From “International: Top News And Analysis”



Freight trucks and other vehicles travel on a highway in this aerial photograph taken in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Full Truck Alliance or Manbang looks to connect truck drivers to those looking to ship goods.Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesGUANGZHOU, China — A Chinese trucking start-up could file publicly for a U.S. listing this week which could value the company as much as $30 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter told CNBC.The Full Truck Alliance connects truck drivers to people who want to ship items, a model that often earns the company the title “Uber for trucks.”Bloomberg reported in February that the Full Truck Alliance, known as Manbang in Chinese, already filed confidentially for an initial public offering (IPO) with U.S. regulators.But the start-up could make its filing public as early as this week and is likely to pick the New York Stock Exchange as its listing venue, the person said.The Full Truck Alliance could raise around $1.5 billion from the IPO at a valuation of between $20 billion and $30 billion, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to speak publicly.A representative from the company was not immediately available for comment.The Full Truck Alliance was formed after a merger between two truck services platforms, Yunmanman and Huochebang, in 2017. It makes money by charging membership fees to those wanting to ship goods and also takes a cut of transactions, much like Uber.In November, the Full Truck Alliance raised $1.7 billion from some high profile backers including SoftBank and Tencent.China’s logistics market is becoming increasingly competitive. Full Truck Alliance competes with other companies such as Huolala. And giants such as Alibaba and Tencent are also putting more emphasis on growing their own logistics businesses.







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Army of fake fans boosts China’s messaging on Twitter From “World News”



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1.4B but no more? China’s population growth closer to zero From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



BEIJING (AP) — China’s weak population growth is falling closer to zero as fewer couples have children, government data showed Tuesday, adding to strains on an aging society with a shrinking workforce.The population rose by 72 million people over the past 10 years to 1.411 billion in 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics announced after a once-a-decade census. It said annual growth averaged 0.53%, down by 0.04% from the previous decade.Chinese leaders have enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth but worry the number of working-age people is falling too fast, disrupting efforts to create a prosperous economy. They have eased birth limits, but couples are put off by high costs, cramped housing and job discrimination against mothers.“Labor resources are still abundant,” the statistics agency director, Ning Jizhe, said at a news conference.The percentage of children in the population edged up compared with 2010, while the share 60 and older rose faster. The pool of potential workers aged 15 to 59 shrank to 894 million, down about 5% from a 2011 peak of 925 million.Changes in birth limits and other policies “promoted a rebound in the birth population,” Ning said. However, he said there were 12 million babies born last year, which would be down 18% from 2019’s report of 14.6 million.China, along with Thailand and some other developing Asian countries that are aging fast, faces what economists call the challenge of whether it can grow rich before it grows old. Some forecasters warn China faces a “demographic time bomb.”Reflecting the issue’s sensitivity, the statistics agency took the unusual step last month of announcing the population grew in 2020 but gave no total. That looked like an effort to calm companies and investors after The Financial Times reported the census might have found a surprise decline.“We are more concerned about the fast decline in the working-age population,” said Lu Jiehua, a professor of population studies at Peking University.Story continuesThe population of potential workers aged 15 to 59 will fall from three-quarters of the total in 2011 to just above half by 2050, according to Lu.“If the population gets too old, it will be impossible to solve the problem through immigration,” said Lu. “It needs to be dealt with at an early stage.”Couples who want a child face daunting challenges.Many share crowded apartments with their parents. Child care is expensive and maternity leave short. Most single mothers are excluded from medical insurance and social welfare payments.Some women worry giving birth could hurt their careers.”When you have a kid, you take pregnancy leave, but will you still have this position after you take the leave?” said He Yiwei, who is returning from the United States after obtaining a master’s degree. “Relative to men, when it comes to work, women have to sacrifice more.”Japan, Germany and some other rich countries face the same challenge of supporting aging populations with fewer workers. But they can draw on investments in factories, technology and foreign assets. By contrast, China still is a middle-income country with labor-intensive farming and manufacturing.The decline in the working-age population “will place a cap on China’s potential economic growth,” said Yue Su of the Economist Intelligence Unit in a report. That is a “powerful incentive to introduce productivity-enhancing reforms.”The International Monetary Fund is forecasting Chinese economic growth of 8.4% this year following a rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. The ruling Communist Party wants to double output per person from 2020 levels by 2035, which would require annual growth of about 4.7%.The numbers reported Thursday reflect a gain of 11.8 million people, or 0.8%, over the official estimate for 2019, when the government says the population edged above 1.4 billion for the first time.The working-age population fell to 63.3% of the total from 70.1% a decade ago. The group up to age 14 expanded by 1.3 percentage points to 17.9%. Those 60 and older — a group of 264 million people who on their own would be the world’s fourth-biggest country — rose 5.4 percentage points to 18.7% of the population.The party took its biggest step in 2015 when rules that limited many couples to having only one child were eased to allow two.However, China’s birth rate, paralleling trends in South Korea, Thailand and other Asian economies, already was falling before the one-child rule. The average number of children per mother tumbled from above six in the 1960s to below three by 1980, according to the World Bank.Demographers say official birth limits concealed what would have been a further fall in the number of children per family.The one-child limit, enforced with threats of fines or loss of jobs, led to abuses including forced abortions. A preference for sons led parents to kill baby girls, prompting warnings millions of men might be unable to find a wife, fueling social tension.Thursday’s data showed China has 105.7 million men and boys for every 100 women and girls, or about 33 million more males.The ruling party says the policy averted shortages of food and water by preventing as many as 400 million potential births. But demographers say if China followed Asian trends, the number of additional babies without controls might have been as low as a few million.After limits were eased in 2015, many couples with one child had a second but total births fell because fewer had any at all.Some researchers say China’s population already is shrinking.Yi Fuxian, a senior scientist in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says the population started to fall in 2018. His book “Big Country With An Empty Nest” argued against the one-child limits.“China’s economic, social, educational, tech, defense and foreign policies are built on the foundation of wrong numbers,” said Yi.Chinese regulators talk about raising the official retirement age of 55 to increase the pool of workers.Female professionals welcome a chance to stay in satisfying careers. But others resent being forced to work more years. And keeping workers on the job, unable to help look after children, might discourage their daughters from having more.The latest data put China closer to be overtaken by India as the most populous country, which is expected to happen by 2025.India’s population last year was estimated by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs at 1.38 billion, or 1.5% behind China. The agency says India should grow by 0.9% annually through 2025.___Wu reported from Taipei. AP researcher Yu Bing and video producer Liu Zheng in Beijing contributed.







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