The 2014 UniSIM Contemporary China Public Lecture "Greying Chinese Societies: The 'Old', the New and the Inevitable" was held on 25 October 2014 at SPH News Auditorium. The talk attracted some 200 attendees.
The first speaker, Professor Zhai Zhenwu, Dean of School of Sociology and Population Studies of Renmin University of China and President of the China Population Association, presented the demographic trends and challenges in China. He highlighted that the number of older adults above 60 years old in China is projected to reach four hundred million by 2040, larger than the current population in USA. He also cautioned that China must start preparing itself to confront the imminent "silver tsunami" or otherwise it will find itself short of infrastructure and financial resources needed to manage a greying society.
Professor Chen Kuan-jeng from Department of Healthcare Management, College of Management, Chang Gung University, Taiwan shared with the audience on the ageing issues faced by Taiwan. He used several statistical graphs to explain how the combination of decreasing fertility rate, increasing average life expectancy and mortality rate led to an ageing population. He also touched on how morbidity expansion and cure rate resulted in an increase in the financial burden of the younger population. His candid and humorous speech drew much laughter from the audience.
Professor Eddie Kuo, Director, UniSIM Centre for Chinese Studies gave a brief overview on the ageing population trend in Singapore. He noted that Singapore government has been pro-active in preparing for the ageing population. This was followed by a dialogue session chaired by Professor Eddie Kuo.
The talk was jointly organised by SIM University, Lianhe Zaobao, Business China and sponsored by Lee Foundation.
(L to R) Prof Chen Kuan-jeng, Chang Gung University, Taiwan; Prof Eddie Kuo, UniSIM; Mr Lim Jim Koon, Editor-in-Chief,
Chinese Newspapers Division; Prof Zhai Zhenwu, Renmin University of China; Ms Susan Goh, Business China