AN ELDERLY CHINESE WOMAN LIES IN HER HOPSITAL BED IN BEIJING.
An elderly Chinese woman lies in her hospital bed in Beijing's Song Tang Hospice as a bound foot peeks out from under the covers. By 2020 the nation most famous for respecting age will have a quarter of the world's elderly. The prolonging of life spans is one of the main successes of the Communist era, but the nation's ability to deal with this new wave of the old is complicated by the breakdown in its social welfare systems based on work units that once provided cradle-to-grave protection. Photo taken 1June98.