China jibes about ‘quality’ as India becomes world’s most populous country

As India surpassed China's population on Wednesday to become the most populous country in the world, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson of China Wang Wenbin took a sharp dig at New Delhi. He opined that it was talent resources that mattered the most.

Edited By Anwesha Mitra
Updated20 Apr 2023
India's population is expected to rise for next three decades before starting to decline.
India’s population is expected to rise for next three decades before starting to decline.(AP)

India surpassed China to become the world's most populous country this week, prompting a sharp reaction from Beijing. Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin contended that it was important to look at quality as well as size while assessing a country's demographic dividend.

"When assessing a country's demographic dividend, we need to look at not just its size but also its quality. Size matters, but what matters more is talent resources. Nearly 900 million of the 1.4 billion Chinese are of working age and on average have received 10.9 years of education," he said.

As per the latest UN data, India presently has a population of 142.86 crore. Its population is expected to rise to 166.8 crore by 2050 while China's population would dip to 131.7 crore. The United States occupies the third spot with an estimated 340 million people.

Earlier this week, a a top UN expert had said that the big focus for India would now be quick and effective investments in education, job creation and gender equality that will yield demographic dividend and enable its large population to boost economic growth.

ALSO READ: India surpasses China as most populous nation. Why does this matter?

Wenbin also spoke about the workforce in China and noted that the average length of education has now increased to 14 edications. He cited the country's national strategy to address population ageing - which includes a third-child policy and supporting measures to address demographic changes.

"As Premier Li Qiang pointed out, China's demographic dividend has not disappeared, and our talent dividend is in the making," the Chinese spokesperson added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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