The 21st century is approaching. With the rapid development of
science and technology and the swift changes in the world economic
order and patterns, population and development have further become
an important issue, which draws general concern of the international
community. It is the common choice of all countries to seek a way
to achieve sustainable development with population, economy, society,
resources and environment all in harmony.
China is a developing country with the biggest population in the
world. A sample survey shows that China's population had reached
1.26 billion by the end of 1999 (excluding the population of the
Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions and Taiwan Province),
accounting for about 21% of the world population. In order to better
understand the law governing and trend of the population change,
further slow-down population growth, improve population quality,
and properly formulate a population policy and social and economic
development plan for the 21st century, the Chinese Government conducted
its fifth national population census in November 2000. The result
will be published in time once all data are processed.
China has a huge population, but a weak economic foundation with
relatively inadequate resources per capita. These are its basic
national conditions. Many contradictions and problems in China's
economic and social development are closely associated with the
issue of population, which has become the key factor and primary
problem restricting China's economic and social development. Whether
the population problem can be properly solved has the direct bearing
on the improvement of the population quality and the living standards
of the Chinese people, as well as the prosperity of the Chinese
nation. It also concerns the world peace and development.
In line with the strategic goal of the nation's modernization drive
and proceeding from national conditions, the Chinese Government
has formulated and implemented a population policy which conforms
to China's reality and has greatly contributed to the stabilization
of the national and the world population and to the promotion of
human development and progress. The Chinese Government is willing
to continue its efforts together with the international community
to practically solve the problem of population and development.
The Chinese Government firmly believes that China's population and
development cause will develop further in the 21st century and that
China will make still greater contribution to the civilization and
progress of mankind!