Chinese state media slams ‘hype’ about India’s population boom

Government spokesman accuses Western media of using China’s population decline as “bad mouth” country.

Western media reports of India’s overtaking of China’s population are deliberately ignoring China’s development, using the topic to “bad” it and advocating decoupling, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.

CCTV’s sharply worded commentary on Thursday said the Western media’s subtext in recent years has been that China’s development is in “major trouble” and that when the country’s demographic dividend disappears, it will decline and the global economy will also suffer.

“They slandered all the time and China has developed all the way, creating a miracle of sustainable and stable economic development with a huge population,” CCTV said.

India will overtake China as the world’s most populous nation and will have nearly 3 million more people than its neighbor by the middle of this year, according to data released by the United Nations on Wednesday.

“The United States is stepping up efforts to contain China’s development and calling for further decoupling and found new hype points from the United Nations report,” CCTV said, adding that the West simply equated population size with development performance.

“Such a hype lacks a basic understanding of the law of population development. With the current development of human society, the fall in the birth rate and the decline in the willingness to bear children are common problems facing the whole world.”

CCTV added that Western developed countries generally faced problems such as labor shortages.

Last year, China’s population fell for the first time in 60 years, a historic turn that is expected to usher in a long period of population decline, with far-reaching consequences for the economy and the world.

Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said the population’s dividends depend not only on quantity, but also on quality.

“Population is important, but talents are also important… China has taken active measures to respond to its aging population,” Wang told reporters on Wednesday.