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China’s population is experiencing a rapid transition towards a greater proportion and number of older persons. China shows a relatively good comparative position in terms of the wellbeing of older persons, on the basis of the latest 2015 Global AgeWatch Index. However, this study shows that despite unprecedented economic progress, major disparities persist between urban and rural areas, between the wealthier Eastern coast and the poorer Western and Central regions, and between men and women. These disparities exist largely because of differential life course experiences that tend to be magnified in old age due to their cumulative effects. These disparities have drawn attention from the Government of China as well as in the work of the international development agencies. This report contributes towards understanding the situation better and making recommendations for policy reforms.