Most readers will look at the title above and wonder, “What the heck does the ‘Browning of America’ — the coming time when white people will comprise less than half our population — have to do with China’s economic success or failure?”
It has everything to do with it.
About forty years ago, 88 percent of the Chinese population lived on less than two dollars per day. As of 2017, that figure had dropped to less than six percent. The key in this tectonic economic shift was a decision by Deng Xiaoping to open up China’s economy as part of his Four Modernizations. The transformation of China’s economy is unprecedented in human history and has led to the assumption by many (including myself) that China’s economic supremacy (now estimated to occur as soon as 2028) will last for the foreseeable future. This view is further bolstered by the advent of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the largest infrastructure project in human history.
But now it appears their economic supremacy cannot last, and for the most human of reasons: babies. Or, more accurately, the lack thereof. Yes, you read that right — the Chinese aren’t having enough babies.
Older readers will remember China’s implementation of their ‘One-Child Policy’ wherein (with some exceptions) women were not allowed to have more than one child. Fewer still know of its more-influential predecessor, the “Later, Longer, Fewer” birth-control campaign. Both programs included (among other measures) forced abortion, which we in the West viewed with revulsion, though many simply felt the Chinese were doing what they had to do to avoid a Malthusian trap.
In April, many news agencies reported that China was “set to report its first population decline since 1949,” though there’s currently no strong reference showing that any official report was ever released. But doesn’t this seem to be proof that China has successfully addressed its overpopulation problem? Actually, it’s closer to “be careful what you wish for — you might get it.” Or, as a certain American president once said, “Mission Accomplished” (on my ship, dammit!), and inadvertently forever changed the meaning of that phrase in American…