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China: long-term development issues and options. The report of a mission sent to China by the World Bank.
Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. xiii, 183 p. (World Bank Country Economic Report)This report summarizes the conclusions of a World Bank study undertaken in 1984 to identify the key development issues China is expected to face in the next 20 years. Among the areas addressed by chapters in this monograph are agricultural prospects, energy development, spatial issues, international economic strategy, managing industrial technology, human development, mobilizing financial resources, and development management. China's economic prospects are viewed as dependinding upon success in mobilizing and effectively using all available resources, especially people. This in turn will depend on sucess in reforming the system of economic management, including progress in 3 areas: 1) greater use of market regulation to stimulate innovation and efficiency; 2) stronger planning, combining indirect with direct economic control; and 3) modification and extension of social institutions and policies to maintain the fairness in distribution that is basic to socialism in the face of the greater inequality and instability that may result from market regulation and indirect controls. Over the next 2 decades, China can be expected to become a middle-income country. The government has set the goal of quadrupling the gross value of industrial and agricultural output between 1980 and 2000 and increasing per capita income from US$300 to $800. China's size and past emphasis on local self-sufficiency offer opportunities for enormous economic gains through increased specialization and trade among localities. Increased rural-urban migration seems probable and desirable, although an increase in urban services and infrastructure will be required. The expected slow rate of population increase is an important foundation for China's favorable economic growth prospects. On the other hand, it may not be desirable to hold fertility below the replacement level for very long, given the effects this would have on the population's age structure. The increase in the proportion of elderly people will be a serious social issue in the next century, and reforms of the social security system need to be considered.
Asian and Pacific Population Programme News. 1985 Mar; 14(1):2-5.In 1983, the ESCAP region added 44 million people, bringing its total population to 2600 million, which is 56% of the world population. The annual rate of population growth was 1.7% in 1983 compared to 2.4% in 1970-75. The urban population rose from 23.4% in 1970 to 26.4% in 1983, indicative of the drift from rural areas to large cities. In 1980, 12 of the world's 25 largest cities were in the ESCAP region, and there is concern about the deterioration of living conditions in these metropoles. In general, however, increasing urbanization in the developing countries of the ESCAP region has not been directly linked to increasing industrialization, possibly because of the success of rural development programs. With the exception of a few low fertility countries, a large proportion of the region's population is concentrated in the younger age groups; 50% of the population was under 22 years of age in 1983 and over 1/3 was under 15 years. In 1983, there were 69 dependents for every 100 persons of working age, although declines in the dependency ratio are projected. The region's labor force grew from 1100 million in 1970 to 1600 million in 1983; this growth has exceeded the capacity of country economies to generate adequate employment. The region is characterized by large variations in life expectancy at birth, largely reflecting differences in infant mortality rates. Whereas there are less than 10 infant deaths/1000 live births in Japan, the corresponding rates in Afghanistan and India are 203 and 121, respectively. Maternal-child health care programs are expected to reduce infant mortality in the years ahead. Finally, fertility declines have been noted in almost every country in the ESCAP region and have been most dramatic in East Asia, where 1983's total fertility rate was 40% lower than that in 1970-75. Key factors behind this decline include more aggressive government policies aimed at limiting population growth, developments in the fields of education and primary health care, and greater availability of contraception through family planning programs.