The real social threat to China’s stability is demographic. As a result of the One-Child policy introduced in 1979, China by 2030 will have a significantly more elderly population than its comparably large neighbour India. The share of the population aged sixty-five and over will be 16 per sent, compared to 5 per cent in 1980. And the gender imbalance in provinces like Anhui, Hainan, Guangdong and Jiangxi is already quite without parallel in a modern society, with between 30 and 38 per cent more males than females. The next Chinese revolution, if there is going to be one, will be led by frustrated bachelors. But history suggests that young men without women are as likely to embrace radical nationalism as revolution.
Civilization: The West and the Rest, by Niall Ferguson, The Penguin Press, 2011