Books

08.15.17

Outsourced Children

Leslie Wang
It’s no secret that tens of thousands of Chinese children have been adopted by American parents and that Western aid organizations have invested in helping orphans in China. But why have Chinese authorities allowed this exchange, and what does it reveal about processes of globalization?Countries that allow their vulnerable children to be cared for by outsiders are typically viewed as weaker global players. However, Leslie K. Wang argues that China has turned this notion on its head by outsourcing the care of its unwanted children to attract foreign resources and secure closer ties with Western nations. She demonstrates the two main ways that this “outsourced intimacy” operates as an ongoing transnational exchange: first, through the exportation of mostly healthy girls into Western homes via adoption, and second, through the subsequent importation of first-world actors, resources, and practices into orphanages to care for the mostly special needs youth left behind.Outsourced Children reveals the different care standards offered in Chinese state-run orphanages that were aided by Western humanitarian organizations. Wang explains how such transnational partnerships place marginalized children squarely at the intersection of public and private spheres, state and civil society, and local and global agendas. While Western societies view childhood as an innocent time, unaffected by politics, this book explores how children both symbolize and influence national futures. —Stanford University Press{chop}

China, Where the Pressure to Marry Is Strong, and the Advice Flows Online

Karoline Kan
New York Times
Although women in their 20s are greatly outnumbered by men in the same age group in China, a product in part of the since-abandoned one-child family policy and a cultural preference for sons, they face enormous pressure to marry. Those who do not...

Caixin Media

03.27.17

Expert Doubts Incentives Would Boost China’s Birth Rate

Proposed incentives for couples to have a second baby—including tax breaks and extra maternity leave—won’t lead to a significant spike in China’s birth rate, a renowned demographer said.Liang Zhongtang’s comments come amid growing concerns about the...

Books

03.27.17

Wish Lanterns

Alec Ash
If China will rule the world one day, who will rule China? There are more than 320 million Chinese between the ages of 16 and 30. Children of the one-child policy, born after Mao, with no memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre, they are the first net native generation to come of age in a market-driven, more international China. Their experiences and aspirations were formed in a radically different country from the one that shaped their elders, and their lives will decide the future of their nation and its place in the world.Wish Lanterns offers a deep dive into the life stories of six young Chinese. Dahai is a military child, netizen, and self-styled loser. Xiaoxiao is a hipster from the freezing north. Fred, born on the tropical southern island of Hainan, is the daughter of a Party official, while Lucifer is a would-be international rock star. Snail is a country boy and Internet-gaming addict, and Mia is a fashionista rebel from far west Xinjiang. Following them as they grow up, go to college, and find work and love, all the while navigating the pressure of their parents and society, Wish Lanterns paints a vivid portrait of Chinese youth culture and of a millennial generation whose struggles and dreams reflect the larger issues confronting China today. —Arcade Publishing{chop}

China Considers Baby Bonus for Couples to Have Second Child

Justin Heifetz
CNN
The Chinese government may consider giving families financial incentives to have a second child in a bid to reach higher birth rate targets 

China Seeks Baby Boom to Counter Sluggish Birth Rates

Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Chinese authorities are looking at ways to encourage people to have more children, less than 18 months after dropping the country’s contentious one-child policy in a bid to boost birth rates and stave off a demographic decline. ...

In China, a Lonely Valentine’s Day for Millions of Men

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
That’s because China’s gender gap remains huge. There were 33.59 million more men than women in China in 2016, according to figures from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics that were issued last month 

More Babies in China Worth Celebrating—but Mind the Data

Nathaniel Taplin
Wall Street Journal
Official data shows women had the most children since 2000 in 2016

Depth of Field

01.17.17

House Calls on the Tibetan Plateau, Children of Divorce, Celebrity Secrets

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
In the final galleries of 2016, the publishing juggernaut Tencent again shows its leadership in the documentary photography space, but iFeng’s choice to publish a personal photo gallery by Zhou Xin is also worth a good look, especially since...

Lost Lives: The Battle of China’s Invisible Children to Recover Missed Years

Coco Liu and Shanshan Chen
Reuters
With the end of the One-Child Policy, unregistered younger siblings are trying to make up for lost time

Caixin Media

12.05.16

‘Two-Child Policy’ Driving Mini Baby Boom in China

The number of children born in China this year is set to rise by 5.7 percent from 2015 as a result of the introduction of the country’s new two-child policy, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) Deputy Director...

Viewpoint

12.01.16

Why I’m Giving Away My Book in China

Mei Fong
After a decade covering Asia for The Wall Street Journal, I devoted three years of my life to researching and writing a book about China’s one-child policy, One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment. This month, I’m giving away the...

Researchers May Have ‘Found’ Many of China’s 30 Million Missing Girls

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
A new study proposes the births of many of the 'missing' girls were simply not registered...

China’s Forbidden Babies Still an Issue

John Sudworth
BBC
The One Child Policy may be gone, but the control and coercion remain

Sinica Podcast

10.20.16

The Consequences of the One-Child Policy Will Be Felt for Generations

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The first day of 2016 marked the official end of China’s one-child policy, one of the most controversial and draconian approaches to population management in human history. The rules have not been abolished but modified, allowing all married Chinese...

China Drops One-Child Policy, but ‘Exhausted’ Tiger Moms Say One is Plenty

Simon Denyer and Congcong Zhang
Washington Post
“No fines, no arrests. Go ahead and have a second child if you want one!” The problem is that many people don’t want a second child any more.

China’s Maternal Mortality Rate Rises 30% in First Half

Li Rongde and Liu Jiaying
Increase in women older than 35 getting pregnant after easing of the One-Child Policy may have led to spike in deaths

Depth of Field

09.12.16

African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...

Depth of Field

07.01.16

Tornados and Drag Queens

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Being a photojournalist involves reacting to breaking news, a dedication to long-term projects, and everything in between. This month’s showcase of work by Chinese photographers published in Chinese media underscores this range of angles: from the...

China’s Call To Young Men: Your Nation Needs Your Sperm

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
Sperm banks get creative with cash and iPhone incentives....

Reinventing China's Abortion Police

Lucy Ash
BBC
Family planning officers were trained for new jobs as teachers of parents and grandparents how to develop toddlers' minds by talking, singing and reading to them...

Left Behind by China’s One-Child Policy

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
Abolition of China’s family-planning rule came too late for ‘Parents of the Lost Only Children’.

Media

04.15.16

A ‘Lost’ Daughter Speaks, and All of China Listens

A woman in her mid-40s cradled a scrap of blue cloth checkered with red. “Have you seen this before?” she asked. “Do you recognize this pattern?”I held it up to the light and noticed the cotton edges had frayed and tattered over years. “We already...

Her Search For Her Mother Touches An Entire Chinese City

NPR
In order to find her birth parents, Jenna Cook met with 50 families who had abandoned a girl in the same street in Wuhan.

‘China’s Worst Policy Mistake’?

Nicholas D. Kristof from New York Review of Books
Perhaps no government policy anywhere in the world affected more people in a more intimate and brutal way than China’s one-child policy. In the West, there’s a tendency to approve of it as a necessary if overzealous effort to curb China’s population...

Yi Fuxian, Critic of China’s Birth Policy, Returns as an Invited Guest

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
"I can go to Boao because the Chinese government isn’t against me anymore!"...

This is the Only Solution to China's Labor Shortage

John Mauldin
Business Insider
China has relaxed its one-child policy, and married couples may now have a second child. Will the change help?

My Secret Life as a Forbidden Second Child in China

Karoline Kan
Foreign Policy
The country's draconian birth control policies have lifted, but the millions of children born outside the system live on in the shadows...

Media

01.06.16

Is it Too Late for a ‘Two-Child Policy’?

Zhang Xiaoran from U.S.-China Dialogue
As of January 1, all married couples in China are now allowed to have a second child without penalty. When, in October, word spread that China’s government would end its longstanding one-child policy, Xiaoran Zhang posed the following questions to a...

China's Two-Child Policy Comes into Effect

Deutsche Welle
The Chinese government implemented the law after concerns related to the country's shrinking population and aging workforce...

Books

12.16.15

One Child

Mei Fong
When Communist Party leaders adopted the one-child policy in 1980, they hoped curbing birth-rates would help lift China’s poorest and increase the country’s global stature. But at what cost? Now, as China closes the book on the policy after more than three decades, it faces a population grown too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers.Mei Fong has spent years documenting the policy’s repercussions on every sector of Chinese society. In One Child, she explores its true human impact, traveling across China to meet the people who live with its consequences. Their stories reveal a dystopian reality: unauthorized second children ignored by the state, only-children supporting aging parents and grandparents on their own, villages teeming with ineligible bachelors, and an ungoverned adoption market stretching across the globe. Fong tackles questions that have major implications for China’s future: whether its “Little Emperor” cohort will make for an entitled or risk-averse generation; how China will manage to support itself when one in every four people is over sixty-five years old; and above all, how much the one-child policy may end up hindering China’s growth.Weaving in Fong’s reflections on striving to become a mother herself, One Child offers a nuanced and candid report from the extremes of family planning. —Houghton Mifflin Harcourt{chop}

Caixin Media

12.14.15

Lack of Clear Policy Direction on Two-Child Rule Leaves Nation Guessing

Regional family-planning officials say the lack of clarity on when the new two-child rule will come into effect has put them in legal limbo, unable to issue birth permits to couples who conceive a second child before the new policy kicks in, leading...

Xi’s China: The Illusion of Change

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Xi Jinping is often described as China’s most powerful leader in decades, perhaps even since Mao. He has been credited—if sometimes grudgingly—with pursuing a vigorous foreign policy, economic reforms, and a historic crackdown on corruption.But as...

Dream of The Bed Chamber

Economist
It is not just China’s economy that has loosened up since 1979. The country is in the midst of a sexual revolution.

In China, 1980 marked a generational turning point

George Gao
Pew Global
Members of this generation were born after Mao's death, and when Deng Xiaoping took power and opened up China’s economy for reform...

Media

11.13.15

The Real Reason for China’s Two-Child Policy: Millions of New Consumers

Two fictitious Chinese brothers are born in Tuanjiehu Maternity Hospital in the Chinese capital of Beijing. Let’s say the first was born already, in late 2015; his parents nickname him Laoda, meaning “oldest child.” That’s because they have hopes...

Media

11.06.15

‘A Brutality Born of Helplessness’

Alexa Olesen
When China finally scrapped its one-child policy after more than three decades of brutality, almost no one lamented its passing. But Paul R. Ehlich, a Stanford-educated biologist and author of the 1968 fear-baiting classic The Population Bomb, was...

China's One-Child Policy and American Adoptees

STAV ZIV
Newsweek
“I felt winded. My stomach dropped. My eyebrows raised. I managed a small chuckle. Talk about feeling a mix of emotions.”

China Two-Child Policy Not Valid Until March, Government Says

BBC
Couples must continue to obey the country's one-child policy until the law changes in March...

Amartya Sen: Women’s Progress Outdid China’s One-Child Policy

AMARTYA SEN
New York Times
The abandonment of the one-child policy in China is a momentous change.

20 Photos That Show How Insanely Crowded China Has Become

Jack Sommer
Business Insider
China has reportedly dropped its long-standing one-child policy, which was first enacted decades ago in an effort to curb overpopulation.The current population rests at around 1.4 billion after having the policy in place for over 35 years. Only time...

China to End One-Child Policy, Allowing Families Two Children

CHRIS BUCKLEY
New York Times
China’s Communist Party brought to an end the decades-old “one child” policy.

Two-Child Policy Is Too Little, Too Late

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
When Chinese leaders convene this week for a four-day meeting on the future of the country’s economy, the biggest news might have to do with babies.

If China Wants More Children, It Needs to Get out of the Nation’s Bedrooms

Isabel Hilton
Guardian
The social and economic impacts are well documented: the world’s most rapidly ageing population, a growing labour shortage, a heavy and unfunded pension burden, an unknown number of undocumented “illegal” children and a gender imbalance of...

China May Adopt 'Two-child Policy, Demographic Timebomb Looms

Tom Phillips
Guardian
China could be on the verge of introducing a two-child policy, under which all Chinese couples would be allowed to have two children.

A Blind Lawyer vs. Blind Chinese Power

Evan Osnos from New York Review of Books
In early 2012, Chen Guangcheng, a self-taught lawyer who had been blind since infancy, lived with his wife and two children in the village of Dongshigu, where he’d been raised, on the eastern edge of the North China plain. They were not there by...

Conversation

03.18.15

Dark Days for Women in China?

Rebecca E. Karl, Leta Hong Fincher & more
With China’s recent criminal detention of five feminist activists, gender inequality in China is back in the spotlight. What does a crackdown on Chinese women fighting for equal representation say about the current state of the nation’s political...

Soft Recruits Hinder China’s Military Modernization

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Many of China's army conscripts have been raised as spoiled children of the one-child policy and need toughening up, a RAND report says. ...

Media

11.12.14

“Having a Second Kid Isn’t as Simple as Adding Another Pair of Chopsticks”

Alexa Olesen
When China loosened its family planning rules a year ago in November, allowing more couples to have a second child, it was big news. It marked the biggest reform of China's strict family planning rules—which limited most urban couples to one...

Caixin Media

08.19.14

A Chinese Town’s Imported Cambodian Brides

It is a hot and sticky midsummer day in a small village along the Chang River in the eastern province of Jiangxi. The most popular spot is in front of the local grocery where a few women are playing mahjong as children chase each other around...

Why China’s Second-Baby Boom Might Not Happen

Christina Larson
Businessweek
Six months since China announced the loosening of its restrictive one-child population policy, it is still too early to judge the ultimate impact. But experts now express more modest expectations.

Caixin Media

07.15.14

Silencing a Health Reformer’s Voice

Dr. Liao Xinbo is struggling to square his enormous popularity and thirst for healthcare reform with a recent demotion that, in his words, marked the culmination of his frustrated work life.Liao served as Deputy Director of the Guangdong Province...

Caixin Media

07.08.14

Hard Choices for Family Planners and Parents

The technocrats in charge of China's one-child policy have the power to force sterilizations, abortions, and intra-uterine device (IUD) implants, as well as punish uncooperative parents by denying them jobs, denying their children schooling,...

China Scrambles to Adjust to Baby Boomlet

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
China's health officials are taking steps to accommodate two million more births annually after a landmark decision last year to relax population controls...

Viewpoint

04.23.14

From Half the Sky to ‘Leftovers’

Mei Fong & Leta Hong Fincher
The three-plus decades since the inception of the ‘one child’ policy have resulted in a huge female shortage in China. The country is now seriously unbalanced, with 18 million more boys than girls. By 2020, there will be some 30 million surplus men...

Many in China Can Now Have a Second Child, but Say No

Dan Levin
New York Times
Many couples blamed the rising cost of living for their reluctance to have more than one child. Some cited a cultural norm that requires husbands to provide an apartment, car and other material riches to a bride, demands that can push families into...

Film Director Zhang Yimou Pays 7.5 Million Yuan Fine Over Children

Agence France-Presse
Zhang admits he has two sons and a daughter with his current wife and a daughter with a previous wife.

China Fines ‘House of Flying Daggers’ Director for Breaching One-child Policy

Tania Branigan
Guardian
Film-maker Zhang Yimou, who has three children with wife Chen Ting, has to pay £750,000 for breaking law.