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Isabelle Attané (ed.), La Chine au seuil du XXle siècle. Questions de population, questions de société

Paris, INED, 2002, XXXVl + 602 p.
Thierry Sanjuan

Editor's notes

Translated from the French original by Jonathan Hall

Full text

1This collective work under the direction of Isabelle Attané is invaluable for its precise information and further reflections on developments in present-day China. It sets out to assess the main issues confronting a society in which the challenges of employment, urbanisation and an aging population are looming even larger than those arising from purely demographic shifts.

2Jean-Luc Domenach’s stimulating introduction is followed by articles on demography, handled in its various aspects by Chinese and French demographers (Peng Xizhe, Peng Fei and Emmanuelle Cambois, Zeng Yi, Mo Long, Li Jianmin, Li Shuzhuo, Jiang Liwen, Michel Cartier, Alain Monnier and Youssef Courbage), but there are also articles on patterns of migration within China itself (Cai Fang) or those occasioned by China’s opening-up (Jean-Louis Rallu, Jean-Philippe Béja), the problem of the food supply (Claude Aubert), the care provisions in the countryside (William Hsiao and Liu Yanli, Charlotte Cailliez), the educational system (Liang Xiaoyan), the situation of women (Tan Lin), rising unemployment in the cities (François Gipouloux), and the growth of inequality (Jean-Claude Chesnais).

3Furthermore, this complex volume with its variety of approaches is amply provided with many inserts and tables, in which Isabelle Attané provides further methodological information and clarifies some important issues.

4On the negative side, there is a regrettable scarcity of mapsapart from the set provided at the beginning. Nathan Keyfitz’s preface makes a very slight contribution and seems to be only loosely in touch with the high level of the work as a whole, which is a very searching study of contemporary issues. Finally, the work of Jean-Pierre Larivière on the census of 1990 is not mentioned, and there is no reference to Yves Blayo even though, back in 1997, he published a detailed overview of Chinese population policies in the same INED series.

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Electronic reference

Thierry Sanjuan, « Isabelle Attané (ed.), La Chine au seuil du XXle siècle. Questions de population, questions de société », China Perspectives [Online], 56 | november - december 2004, Online since 29 November 2006, connection on 01 December 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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About the author

Thierry Sanjuan

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