Top 20 development trends in China over the next 20 years (part 2)

By Li Jingrong
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 4, 2014
Adjust font size:

5. Health concerns and a rise in social problems

In the next 20 years, more than half the Chinese population will be plagued by health problems, and the nation’s hospitals will see a huge rise in patients. These health problems will primarily be caused by three social issues.

First, environmental pollution. Extensive economic expansion has destroyed the living environment in the economically advanced east coast region. A mass migration of people from the interior to these areas seeking a more prosperous life will cause even more damage to the already-fragile environment.

After half a century of accumulating pollutants and continued environmental deterioration, nearly two-thirds of the nation’s land will no longer be suitable for living. The pollutants entering human bodies through the food chain are the main pathogenic factors leading to an upsurge in disease. The incidence of cancer, neonatal deformities and hypertension caused by extreme weather patterns amid global warming will continue to rise.

Lifestyles will be the second source of many health problems. Overeating, eutrophication (increased organic matter in the ecosystem) and lack of exercise will lead to an increasing number of people with substandard health. By 2030, people who were born in the 1980s will reach middle age. Their health problems will become more prominent due to lack of exercise caused by excessive studying to pass exams during their school-age years, and being kept constantly on the run to make money to buy cars and houses in their working days.

The health of people who were born in 1990s will be a little better, but, when reaching middle age, they will also face having to pay a heavy price for lack of exercise in their youth.

An aging society is the third major problem. In the next 20 years, the elderly population in China could become the majority. The outlook for their health status is not optimistic, and will likely lead to serious social problems. Related medical services, the medical insurance system, food security, and water security will continue to be social hot topics. Health in particular will become a major social problem.

6. Pension problems will become prominent

The drawbacks of the family planning policy, which was implemented in the 1970s to drastically reduce the number of births, will begin to emerge around the year 2020.– Problems created by the policy will include an inverted population structure, accelerated aging, and the rapid disappearance of demographic dividends.

Becoming old before getting rich will be a true problem for the people born in the 1950s, 1960s, and even the 1970s. These people will face a real dilemma, because as the social security deficit rises, the country is likely to extend the retirement age by five or ten years.

Chinese people’s greatest wish -- that the elderly will be provided for in a proper manner -- will probably face significant challenges for a long period of time, and, without preventative measures taken both by society and by individuals, a large number of people born in the 1950s and 1960s may end up leading a miserable and dreary life in their later years.

7. Global high-end manufacturing centers will emerge in China.

A Chinese export-oriented processing industry often described in glowing terms by the media is a reality that has made a great contribution to solving one of China's greatest problems -- employment. With the enriched advantages of China's manufacturing industry and improvement of manufacturing facilities, the processing industry has accumulated a lot of experience in technology, personnel, projects and management during the so-called process of "making dowries for others."

Over the next 20 years, the small goods and garments processing and manufacturing industries will gradually shrink. However, China will play a decisive role in the electronics, automobile, aircraft, high speed train, medicine, artificial intelligence and new energy fields.

The accumulation of capital, technology, talents, environment, facilities and industrial clusters will make China into a center of global high-tech and cutting-edge products manufacturing centers. China will be at the forefront of such sectors as computer chips, consumer electronics products, communications equipment, high-speed trains, the Internet, and software development.

China will have the world's leading technology and manufacturing capabilities and will march towards becoming a country dominated by research and development. By 2030, the added value of China's manufacturing sector could lead to comprehensive changes in the world’s primary processing industrial structure.

8. A powerful e-commerce industry cluster will be formed in China.

E-commerce in China has enjoyed rapid development thanks to the presence of a large number of foreign enterprises. Domestic trade has also become more dependent on e-commerce. With the improvement of the logistics and financial support systems, China will be able to become a powerful e-commerce industry cluster.

This will have a tremendous influence on China's retail and supermarket industries, especially as traditional payment terminals are replaced. In the future, the functions of supermarkets will gradually transition from product sales to a “product experience” enhanced by customer service terminals, and product sales will mainly be handled through the Internet.

Top 20 development trends in China over the next 20 years (part 1)

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from