Beijing: As India surpassed China’s population on Wednesday to become the most populous country in the world, the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign ministry, Wang Wenbin, took a sharp dig at New Delhi saying that while assessing a country’s demographic dividend, it is also important to look at not just its size but also quality.
Responding to media queries on India overtaking China as the world’s most populous country by the middle of this year, the Chinese spokesperson said it is the talent resources that matter the most. “When assessing a country’s demographic dividend, we need to look at not just its size but also its quality. Size matters, but what matters more is talent resources. Nearly 900 million of the 1.4 billion Chinese are of working age and on average have received 10.9 years of education,” Wang Wenbin said.
Notably, the UN world population dashboard stated that India now has 1428.6 million people, surpassing the Sino population, which is currently at 1425.7 million. This is for the first time that India has topped the United Nations’ list of most populated countries, ever since the UN began collecting population data in 1950.
With an estimated 340 million people, the United States occupies the third spot.
Wenbin, who also spoke about the workforce in China, noted that the average length of education for those who have recently entered it has increased to 14 years. This is because China has implemented a national strategy to address population ageing, which includes a third-child policy and supporting measures to address demographic changes.
“China has implemented a national strategy to respond to population ageing, including a third-child policy and supporting measures to address demographic changes. As Premier Li Qiang pointed out, China’s demographic dividend has not disappeared, and our talent dividend is in the making,” the Chinese spokesperson added.
He further added that the driving force for China’s development remains strong.
The year before, China’s population shrank for the first time since 1960. In 2016, Beijing ended its strict “one-child policy”, imposed in the 1980s amid overpopulation fears, and began letting couples have three children in 2021.
As India last conducted a census in 2011, there are no current, official figures on the exact size of its population.
India’s once-every-ten-year census, which was supposed to take place in 2021, was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (ANI)