Governance Choices in Dealing with China’s Aging Population

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.12, 2018


Governance Choices in Dealing with China’s Aging Population



Hu Zhan and Peng Xizhe


An aging population has become the norm in Chinese society, but the existing governance model and institutional arrangements still lack a structured and systematic response and adaptation, and the corresponding governance research has also encountered difficulties. The governance choices for China’s aging society should be based on “Chinese characteristics” and turn it into “Chinese advantages,” achieving a switch from fragmented management to overall governance and from concentrating on the elderly population to emphasizing the entire life cycle of the population as whole, so as to change the rationale underlying policy adjustment from “accommodating population change to the system” to “adapting the system to the population.” China’s current strategy and policy deployment for the aged should be grounded on strategic arrangements geared to the circumstances of its population and the laws governing aging development. China should update its conceptual and innovation systems on the basis of its cultural and institutional inheritance, should build a system of social and economic support that balances holism and dynamism and is based on pluralistic governance and sustainable development, and should develop research judgements about the evolution of the elderly population and the future development of the aging society, so as to choose an entry point for the adjustment and remaking of policy.