India will soon overtake China as the world’s most populous state

This article in The National Interest wonders if China is soon to experience its demographic doomsday:

By 2022—and probably sooner—India will overtake China to become the world’s most populous state, a status the latter has held for at least three centuries and perhaps for all recorded history.

And once the Chinese nation loses its demographic crown, it will fall fast. .. China in its peak year will have 1.42 billion people. By the end of the century, the country will be just a smidgen over a billion—and very, very gray…

China prospered during its so-called “reform era”—the decades following the Communist Party’s historic Third Plenum of 1978—largely because the country was propelled by the “demographic dividend,” the enormous bulge in the workforce caused by Mao’s and Deng’s population policies.

The dividend has already been pocketed, and a shrinking workforce will be wrenching for China for the rest of this century and beyond…  There is almost a sense of entitlement in China, that because of its population it is destined to sit atop the world.

Will Beijing, before suffering decline, try to undermine India to prevent it from realizing its demographic potential? At the end of last decade a number of Chinese security analysts proposed taking on New Delhi while they still had the upper hand. For instance, in August 2009 Zhan Lue, a Chinese strategist connected to the Ministry of National Defense, suggested Beijing try to break up India into as many as 30 independent states…

For decades, Beijing’s policy toward New Delhi has been driven by a desire to keep a possible peer competitor down. The risk for India is that in coming years the Chinese, due to plunging demography, will become even more insecure and ramp up efforts to target the Indian state.

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Previous posts on China:

The risk from China is not economic – Is China in the midst of a despotic boom-n-bust cycle of “a few decades of despotic order followed by uncontrolled corruption, popular uprisings, disintegration into warlord rule, then conquest or consolidation and the start of a new cycle?

Interesting analogy: China as our Antebellum South –  Does Chinese leadership fear that encirclement and time will undo their system in due course, as did Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy?

Think of the US and add 1 billion peasants – China will grow old before it grows rich.

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One Response to India will soon overtake China as the world’s most populous state

  1. There is a radical contradiction between the political justification for the power of the Chinese Communist Party regime (Maoism – and his face is still everywhere in China, even on the money) and the relatively pro “capitalist” policies the regime now follows. This contradiction will resolve itself violently – both internally in China (the “Mandate of Heaven” changes suddenly – and violently) and by “lashing out” against other nations. And this may include lashing out with nuclear weapons. The policy of “constructive engagement” with the PRC regime has been a fundamental mistake.

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