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The Elderly Boom
For nearly three decades, Mao Zedong encouraged population growth, seeing it as an asset to development. In the late 1970s, amid a runaway population boom, Mao left one extreme for the other and slapped on a one-child policy to limit the offspring of couples. Since then, the policy has halted an estimated 300 million births, leaving China's population at 1.3 billion today.

A possible effect of the "one child" policy, however, is the hastened arrival of China's silver tide. The consequences of the policy had not all been fully recognized when it was put into effect, but note that overpopulation is a far more problematic situation than an "aged" society. The early arrival of an aged society is an inevitable price for solving the great pressure of overpopulation. If we hadn't carried out the policy, the uncontrolled increase in population would be too large of a burden to shoulder.

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