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Hong Kong's Changing Demographics; Caring for the Aged; the Changing Face of Pro-Beijing Parties (25 Feb 2005)

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It was a slow news week, so Chief Secretary Donald Tsang's semi-joking comments on an RTHK radio programme this week, advising couples they should have at least three children, got a lot of press coverage. But they did point to a serious issue. Hong Kong's population is ageing, many of its young men are marrying mainland women, and young Hong Kong couples don't really feel secure enough in their lives or careers to raise three kids. Our video report includes comments from Frederick Ho, the Commissioner of Census and Statistics; Olympic windsurfer Lee Lai-shan (currently expecting her first child), Susan Fan of the the Family Planning Association; and members of the public. But how bad is the problem? The report's followed up by a studio discussion with Paul Yip, from the Department of Statistics of the University of Hong Kong, and the Lingnan University's Professor David Phillips, an authority on population and ageing. Again reflecting Hong Kong's changing demographics, Tam Yiu-chung raised a motion in the Legislative Council this week on whether the government's ready to cope with a burgeoning elderly population, and what social services it will be able to offer the baby boomers when they reach their senior years. Pro-Beijing Transformations. The DAB and Progressive Alliance have merged, a new pro-Beijing People's Party is being formed, and legislator Chan Yuen-han has been quoted as saying it could be time for a new grassroots party. As the Democrats lag in the doldrums, the pro-Beijing parties may – unless there's constitutional change – now be potential kingmakers (or at least Chief Executive makers).

Program: 
The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, February 25, 2005
Station: 
RTHK
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