Shrinking China: ‘Sick Lizard,’ Not ‘Fire-Breathing Dragon’

A team at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences now believes that China’s population peaked last year. Three years ago, it issued a forecast that the country would reach the high mark in 2029.

If “the true power of China’s rise is a powerful reproductive force”—as many of its people evidently believe—then the Chinese state is heading for collapse. The country is on track to suffer the biggest fall in population in world history in the absence of war or disease.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics reports that the country’s population hit 1.4126 billion last year, after a 0.034%…

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