Asia, Middle East, News Watch, Side Feature

View on the News 10/02/2021


* China’s Population Beginning to Decline?
* UAE Reached for the Stars

China’s Population Beginning to Decline?

The number of newborns registered with the government in China dropped almost 15% in 2021.

According to figures published by the Ministry of Public Security this week, there were 10.03 million new babies registered in 2020, compared to 11.79 million the year before, a decrease of 14.9%. The news comes as last year, China recorded the lowest birthrate since the People’s Republic was founded in 1949. China’s demographic issues could pose serious issues for the world’s second-largest economy when the current working-age population reaches retirement. Experts worry if the trend continues, or the population begins shrinking, China may get old before it gets rich. China instituted a one child policy in 1979 under immense Western pressure and the fact that China’s leaders had run the economy into the ground with their communist polices. In 1979 over 90% of China’s population languishing in poverty. Halting China’s population growth was seen as a solution to the country’s economic woes. But whilst the growth rate dropped over the last few decades, China’s population continued to grow, albeit at a lower rate. But it’s now created another problem for China, more and more of its population are getting older and there are not enough young to replace them. This comes at a critical time for China when it needs all the workers it can get to continue its economic growth.

UAE Reached for the Stars

The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars has entered the red planet’s orbit after a seven-month, 307 million mile journey, allowing it to start sending data about the Martian atmosphere and climate. Officials at mission control broke into applause on Tuesday 9th Feb, visibly relieved after a tense half-hour as Amal, Arabic for hope, carried out a “burn” to slow itself enough to be pulled in by the Martian gravity. “To the people of the UAE, to the Arab and Muslim nations, we announce the successful arrival to Mars orbit. Praise be to God,” said Omran Sharaf, the mission’s project manager. The announcement of the mission’s success makes UAE’s space agency the fifth to reach Mars. Probes launched by China and NASA just after the UAE’s lift-off in July last year are also set to reach the planet this month. The Emirates Mars Mission, which has cost approximately $200m, launched the Hope Probe from a Japanese space centre. The Mars programme is part of the UAE’s efforts to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its reliance on oil.