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Economic development, population ageing and sustainability in China

Guo, X. and Marinova, D. (2007) Economic development, population ageing and sustainability in China. In: MODSIM07 - Land, Water and Environmental Management: Integrated Systems for Sustainability, 10 - 13 December, Christchurch pp. 1973-1979.

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The most populous country in the world, China is enjoying unprecedented economic growth. However this growth is accompanied with population ageing and serious environmental degradation which has attracted global attention. The impact of China's environmental problems on the rest of world in the future will be as important as that of the country’s rapid economic growth. Without a balanced development strategy, China will face serious economic consequences due to increasing environmental deterioration and an ageing population triggered by the government’s one-child policy. The young and working-age people of this country will have the double burden of restoring and maintaining the deteriorating ecosystems and looking after an increasing number of elderly. This paper analyses China’s demographic profile and examines some of the country’s environmental issues in their relationship with economic development. It also addresses China’s environmental protection policies and their implications for economic, social and ecological sustainability. It also discusses the government’s role in shaping population policies, environmental protection, education and knowledge diffusion. The findings have implications for the development of better policies for China to deal with its ageing crisis and prevent environmental damage while economic growth is sustained, including a national sustainability strategy.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Publisher: Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand
Conference Website:
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