try was about 27 percent of the total workforce, but contributed only 7.9 percent of its GDP. If only 4-5 percent of China’s workforce were to work in the prim
ary industry to generate 3-4 percent of its GDP, more than 20 percent of the country’s labor force has to shift from the agr
icultural sector to the secondary and tertiary sectors. But that would mean large-scale redistribution of workers, wh
ich could create serious problems in many fields including public services and education.
Third, the number of people aged 65 or above in China is likely to account for 23 percent of the
total population in 2035. In comparison, when Japan’s per capita GDP reached 35,000 international dolla
rs in 2004, only 14.15 percent of its population was aged 65 or above. Which means China
faces a more serious aging population problem. Today, China’s median population age is about 37 years－sim
ilar to that in the US－but in 2035 it will be 46 years. So China’s aging population will pose a big challenge to the
labor market, industrial structure adjustment and the country’s overall development.