Xie Huilan, 66, has worked all of her adult life and has never given a thought to retirement.
Indeed, she and her 73-year-old husband work harder than ever, farming their plot of land in China’s northwestern province of Shaanxi and caring for their grandchildren, whose parents are migrant workers in the cities.
“Of course I’m tired, but there is nothing I can do,” said Xie, sitting inside her small courtyard home in this poor, drought-prone region of Shaanxi.
China is already home to more than half the old people in Asia and by 2050 its elderly are expected to exceed 400 million. Long before that point, analysts say, the burden of the elderly will far outweigh the benefits of having fewer children under China’s strict family planning rules.[Full Text]