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China Records 1st Population Drop In Decades As Births Fall

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BEIJING, China  — China’s population went down for the first time in a long time last year as its birthrate fell, according to official figures released Tuesday, putting additional pressure on leaders to keep the economy growing despite an aging workforce and rising tensions with the United States.

Despite official figures, some experts believe China‘s population has been declining for several years — a dramatic shift in a country that once attempted to control population growth through a one-child policy.

Many wealthy countries are trying to figure out what to do about their aging workforces, which can slow down economic growth. Some experts think it will be especially hard for a developing economy like China to deal with this demographic shift.

“China had gotten older before it got rich,” Yi Fuxian, a demographer and expert on Chinese population, said.

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China Had 850,000 Fewer People in 2022

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country had 850,000 fewer people in 2022 than the previous year. The number only includes people who live in mainland China. It does not include people who live in Hong Kong, Macao, or other countries.

Official numbers show that over 1 million fewer babies were born than the year before. This was because the economy was slowing, and widespread pandemic lockdowns existed. In 2022, the bureau reported 9.56 million births and 10.41 million deaths.

It was unclear whether the covid 19 outbreak influenced the population figures. Some experts say China is underreporting deaths from the virus by saying other things caused them. However, no estimates of how many people have died have been made public.

Yi says that China’s population has started to drop nine to ten years earlier than Chinese officials and the UN thought it would. The country has long been the world’s most populous, but it is expected to be surpassed by India soon, if not already.

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Ending The One Child Policy Has Increased It Only Slightly

Since the end of the one-child policy in 2016, China has sought to increase its population. Since then, China has tried, with limited success, to encourage families to have second, mirroring attitudes in much of East Asia, where birth rates have fallen precipitously. The cost of raising children in cities is frequently cited as a cause in China.

Yi’s research shows that China’s population has decreased since 2018. This means that the population crisis is “much worse” than was thought before. According to him, China now has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates, second only to Taiwan and South Korea.

That means China’s “true demographic crisis is beyond imagination” and that “all of China’s previous economic, social, defense, and foreign policies were based on faulty demographic data,” according to Yi.

Yi says that China’s coming economic crisis will be worse than Japan’s, partly blamed on a shrinking population.

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China’s Latest Decline Caused By ‘The Great Leap Forward’

Aside from demographic challenges, China is increasingly competing economically with the United States, which has restricted access to American technology for some Chinese companies, citing national security and fair competition concerns.

The last population decline in China is thought to have occurred during the Great Leap Forward.

According to China’s statistics bureau, there were 875.56 million people between the ages of 16 and 59 who were working-age, making up 62% of the country’s population. There were 209.78 million people 65 and older, making up 14.9% of the total.

According to Stuart Gietel-Basten, professor of social science at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, a declining population does not always imply a weaker economy.

“It’s a major psychological problem. “Perhaps the largest,” Gietel-Basten said.

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Women Still OutNumber Men

According to statistics bureau data, men outnumbered women by 722.06 million to 689.69 million, owing to the one-child policy.

The figures also showed an increase in urbanization in a traditionally rural country. The permanent urban population will increase by 6.46 million to 920.71 million, or 65.22%, by 2022.

Last year, the United Nations estimated that the world’s population reached 8 billion, and that India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. The last census in India was scheduled for 2022 but was pushed back due to the pandemic.

The United Nations said in a report released on World Population Day that global population growth will fall below 1% in 2020 for the first time since 1950.

Also on Tuesday, the statistics bureau released data showing that China’s economic growth slowed to the second-lowest level in at least four decades last year, owing to anti-virus controls and a real estate slump.

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Economy Only Grew By 3%

According to the data, the world’s second-largest economy grew by 3% in 2022, less than half of the previous year’s 8.1%.

Gietel-Basten said that China has been adapting to changes in its population for years by making policies to move its economic activities up the value chain of innovation. He used the growth of the semiconductor manufacturing industry and the financial services industry as examples.

“India’s population is much younger and growing. But there are many reasons you wouldn’t bet your entire fortune on India overtaking China economically shortly,” he said.

Among India’s many challenges is a much lower level of female labor-force participation than in China, according to Gietel-Basten.

“Whatever population you have, it’s not what you have but what you do with it… to some extent,” he said.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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‘Run, Run, Run’: Chaos At A Sydney Mall As 6 People Stabbed To Death, And The Suspect Fatally Shot

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Sydney — A guy stabbed six people to death at a major Sydney shopping mall Saturday before being fatally shot, according to police, with hundreds fleeing the chaotic scene, many of whom were weeping while carrying their children. Eight individuals were hurt, including a nine-month-old.

The 40-year-old was stopped in the knife assault at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, in the city’s eastern suburbs, by a police inspector who shot him after he turned and lifted a knife, according to New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke.

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‘Run, Run, Run’: Chaos At A Sydney Mall As 6 People Stabbed To Death, And The Suspect Fatally Shot

“They just said run, run, run—someone’s been stabbed,” one witness told ABC TV in Australia. “(The attacker) was walking casually, as if enjoying an ice cream in a park. And then he went up the escalators… and within about a minute, we heard three gunshots.

The suspect, as well as six of the victims (five women and one guy), died. Commissioner Karen Webb stated that the eight injured people were treated in hospitals. The infant was in surgery, but it was too early to determine his condition, she said.

“We are confident that there is no ongoing risk, and we are dealing with one person who is now deceased,” Webb said in a later briefing. She continued, “It’s not a terrorism incident.”

She stated that authorities would not name the individual yet and were still investigating his motivation.

Cooke stated that a “lengthy and precise” examination had barely begun.

Some observers were astounded by the unusual surge of violence. In 1996, a man killed 35 people and wounded 23 others in Tasmania, prompting Australia to pass tough gun prohibitions.

sydney

‘Run, Run, Run’: Chaos At A Sydney Mall As 6 People Stabbed To Death, And The Suspect Fatally Shot

Cooke stated that the police inspector, a senior officer, addressed the suspect alone and engaged him shortly after arriving on the scene, “saving a range of people’s lives.”

The cop “displayed enormous courage and bravery,” Webb stated.

“If she didn’t shoot, he would have kept going, and I don’t know how many more he would have done,” another witness told 7News of the police inspector.

Many ambulances and police cars were seen near the shopping complex, and individuals were flowing out, many carrying youngsters.

Paramedics were treating victims on the spot.

Roi Huberman, a sound engineer at ABC TV in Australia, told the network that he took shelter in a store during the event.

“And suddenly we heard a shot or maybe two shots, and we didn’t know what to do,” he recalled. Then, the highly capable person at the store led us to the back, where it could be locked. She then shut the store, let us through the back, and we’re now out.”

sydney

‘Run, Run, Run’: Chaos At A Sydney Mall As 6 People Stabbed To Death, And The Suspect Fatally Shot

The most senior members of the British royal family, who are also Australian royals, voiced shock and sadness following the stabbings.

King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla were “utterly shocked and horrified” by the “senseless attack” in Sydney and expressed their “hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who have been so brutally killed.” The king’s eldest son, Prince William, and his wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales, said they were also “shocked and saddened” and their sympathies with those impacted and the “heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

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Crowds gathered in Germany overnight to celebrate the legalization of cannabis, which begins on Monday.

There was music and dancing at the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin as many waved placards and blew smoke into the air.

germany cannabis

Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

One guy was seen cycling through the crowd, carrying a big cannabis leaf artwork on a trailer behind their bike, while another ceremoniously rolled a joint in front of news cameras.

Following a contentious national discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of making cannabis more accessible, Germany’s lower house of parliament decided last month to legalize it for restricted recreational use.

Karl Lauterbach, the health minister, praised the move in an X post on Monday.

“Weed use was already present yesterday, but it is increasing. “Now it’s out of the taboo zone,” he wrote.

“This is better for real addiction help, prevention for children and young people and for combating the black market, for which there will soon be an alternative.”

The new restrictions allow adults to carry tiny amounts for personal use, but the substance remains illegal for people under 18.

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Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

Under new regulations proposed by Germany’s ruling coalition party, adults can cultivate up to three plants for private use. Beginning April 1, the limit is 50g at home and 25g in public.

From July 1, cannabis will be offered in approved not-for-profit clubs with no more than 500 members, all of whom must be adults. Only club members would be able to consume their output.

The German government stated that cannabis would remain illegal for kids and severely restricted for young adults and that consuming the substance near schools and playgrounds would be prohibited.

Germany becomes the third country in Europe to legalize cannabis for recreational use, following Malta and Luxembourg, and removes it from the official list of illegal narcotics.

cannabis

Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

The Netherlands prohibits drug possession, but some towns allow them to be sold at coffee shops as part of its so-called toleration policy.

Other countries, such as Australia and the United States, have differing local restrictions.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike

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JERUSALEM — A top Iranian military adviser warned Israel on Sunday that none of its embassies were secure following last week’s strike in Damascus, which killed two elite Iranian generals. As Israel’s battle against Hamas enters its sixth month, regional tensions threaten to plunge the Middle East into a larger confrontation.

The statements of Gen. Rahim Safavi, a military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, suggested that the attack on a diplomatic mission would be met with a similar response. They have not explicitly admitted its involvement.

“None of the (Israeli) regime’s embassies are safe anymore,” Safavi told the semi-official Tasnim news agency. He spoke at a ceremony in Tehran honoring the generals slain in the strike that destroyed an Iranian consulate building.

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Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the country was prepared for any response. “Whoever harms us or plans to harm us, we will harm them,” he warned a Cabinet gathering.

The regional tensions erupted six months into the war, which began when Hamas-led militants infiltrated from Gaza into the country, killing 1,200 people, the majority of whom were civilians, and kidnapping approximately 250 others. They replied with a severe bombardment and ground offensive that killed over 33,000 Palestinians, most of whom were women and children, according to local health authorities.

Also on Sunday, the military stated that it was withdrawing forces from the 98th Paratroopers Division, which had been operating in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza, lowering Israeli troop levels in Gaza to some of their lowest since the conflict began. The Hamas stronghold has been the primary target of Israel’s offensive in recent months.

The forces retreated to rest and prepare for future operations, but a considerable number remain in Gaza, according to military sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The country keeps troops in damaged northern Gaza and can send them south as needed. Israel has declared a ground offensive against Rafah, the southernmost Gaza city and Hamas’ last stronghold. However, the area houses around 1.4 million people, representing more than half of Gaza’s population. The threat of an offensive has sparked global concern, particularly from key partners, the United States, which has demanded a credible strategy to protect civilians.

The six-month mark of the war has been met with growing discontent in Israel, where anti-government protests have erupted, and resentment is rising over what some Israelis regard as the government’s failure to assist in rescuing the remaining around 130 hostages, about a fifth of whom claims are dead.

Negotiations for a cease-fire in exchange for the hostages’ release will likely restart in Cairo on Sunday. An Israeli delegation led by the head of the Mossad intelligence agency was scheduled to leave for Cairo, according to an Israeli official who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the topic with the press.

israel Damascus

Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike

“Israel is prepared for a deal; Israel is not prepared to surrender,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated. “Instead of the international pressure being directed at Israel, which is only causing Hamas to harden its positions, the pressure of the international community needs to be directed at Hamas.”

The pressure to act has increased.

“This does not appear to be a war against terrorism. This no longer appears to be a war fought to defend Israel. Chef Jose Andres told ABC that this appears to be a battle on humanity itself, just days after an Israeli bombardment murdered seven of his World Central Kitchen colleagues in Gaza. Aid deliveries along a critical new sea route to the area were halted.

The United Nations and its allies have warned of “imminent famine” for more than 1 million people in Gaza, as humanitarian workers ask the country to ease restrictions on assistance delivery overland, the only option to meet rising demands as some Palestinians scavenge for weeds to eat.

Mothers who have given birth in Gaza since the conflict started are particularly susceptible.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the bodies of 38 persons killed in Israel’s shelling have been transferred to the territory’s remaining functional hospitals during the last 24 hours. According to reports, 71 people were injured and sent to hospitals.

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Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike

The ministry reported that 33,175 people had been murdered since the war began. The ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants but claims two-thirds of those killed are children and women. A further 75,886 people have been wounded.

Israel’s military continues to suffer fatalities, particularly in Khan Younis, where four troops were killed in combat with extremists.

According to Israel’s administration, more than 600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, with 260 killed in the Gaza ground operation.

source – ap

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