Daily Archives: June 11, 2021

China Wants a Baby Boom

After last year’s headcount of China’s 1.4 billion population, Beijing’s shift last month from enforced contraception to encouraged baby-making appeared to be opportune. It took less than 20 days from releasing key findings of the census in early May to relax birth control demands and encourage each couple to have up to three babies rather than two. 

While there have been tepid responses from Chinese in their prime reproductive ages, Beijing is trying new measures for more babies even with relaxed birth controls still in place. The latest turnaround was conceived when the National Statistics Bureau began to crunch census data since the first quarter. It presented a dire demographic picture that jolted the top leadership. The realization is that mere tweaks to population decision-making will not help reverse the downward demographic trend. 

The world’s most populous country faces a looming “baby deficit” and accelerated workforce graying. The census showed China’s fertility rate stood at 1.3 last year, meaning the average number of children to be born to a woman over her lifetime has slipped to an all-time low since such censuses were first conducted in the1950s. The rate is now among the world’s lowest, almost on a par with fast-graying Japan.

Read more at China wants a baby boom a little too late

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Shenzhou XII

China’s ambitious space program is continuing at a rapid pace. Within days, its space station, “Tianhe” will be manned with three crew members, who will enter the core module and work inside it for three months.

According to the China Manned Space Agency, the mission — Shenzhou XII — is slated to set off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China’s Gobi Desert on June 17 (tentative date).

A Long March 2F carrier rocket with the Shenzhou XII spacecraft on top of it was moved to its launch pad at the space complex on Wednesday evening, the People’s Daily online reported.

The agency said in a brief statement the rocket and the spaceship will receive prelaunch examinations and tests, adding the launch center is ready for the coming mission.

Read more at Shenzhou XII set to blast off for Tianhe space station

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