‘A deeply moving account of a policy of that looks set to haunt China (and the world) for decades: Fong highlights how, despite its relaxation to two children, the repercussions of the past thirty-five years will only be felt more acutely in the future.’
Life, Love and Parenthood in Modern ChinaMei Fong
Tang Shuxiu and her husband are on an 800-mile train journey from Beijing to Shifang, where they believe their only child has perished in a recent earthquake. Three days after the event, Tang is too dehydrated to cry.
Liu Ting becomes a national hero when he brings his mother to college, a celebration of filial piety in a nation that now legally compels adult children to visit their elderly parents.
Tian Qingeng and his parents are deeply in debt. They have bought an apartment they hope will improve his eligibility in a nation that has 30 million bachelors, or ‘bare branches’.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mei Fong has spent eight years documenting the effects of the one-child policy across all of Chinese society. In this critically acclaimed account, she weaves together personal stories, history and politics to produce an extraordinary, evocative investigation into how the policy has changed China and why the repercussions will be felt across the world for decades to come.
‘Vivid and thoroughly researched...a moving and at times harrowing account of the significance of decisions taken by a small coterie of men with too much faith in science and ideology, and too little in humanity.’
'An interesting and intriguing read'.
'Welcome bits of new information'.
'A…moving history of the policy…fascinating…Fong, a Singaporean Chinese living in Beijing…adds a fine human touch'.
'Outside China, there are still vocal admirers of the one-child policy. Perhaps after reading this book and doing the sums they won’t be such strident supporters'.
'Fong's moral outrage is as understandable as her empathy is affecting…One Child draws thoughtful attention to the ethical and moral risks of regulating human reproductive rights'.
'Combines tough, broad economic analysis with individual stories'.
'Mei Fong has travelled widely across China, and has produced a vivid account of the multifarious ways whereby a hugely unpopular policy was implemented...One Child is a timely reminder of how the recent relaxation of the policy is unlikely to avert a self-inflicted demographic disaster'.
'There really could be no one better than Fong, a western journalist with an insider's knowledge of China, to make this story come alive'.
'Gripping, balanced and well-documented'.
‘One Child is a riveting read, written with the flair and compassion of a novel. But it is also a critically important book about the future of China, necessary reading both for policy experts and anyone interested in the future of one of the most important nations of the 21st century.’