For China the future is ageing, and fast

Raleigh Addington
Raleigh Addington
editor at Chartwell Speakers

On Monday night we co-hosted another thought-provoking discussion at Asia House, focusing on the two big economic beasts of the region, China and India. There was a great turn-out for the discussion between Alan Rosling, former executive director of Tata Sons Ltd and George Magnus, senior economics advisor to UBS, moderated by the Sunday Times’ David Smith.

China is often seen as the ‘one to watch’ to become the major super-power on the global stage but, as George Magnus pointed out, it is very difficult to predict what will happen in a country with such a dramatically ageing population. While it took the West 100 years to double its proportion of over-60s from 7% to 15%, China has reached that level in 20 years, and with a significantly lower average wage. This makes it difficult to draw parallels and anticipate what happens next.

This was only one of the topics raised in the fascinating discussion that covered everything from corruption to co-operation between the two states and the big question – which would be the more successful in the long term. On this, the mood in the room was that India would overtake China.

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