China adopted its one-child policy in 1980, exercising unprecedented control over the reproductive habits of more than one billion people. As China now seems poised to overtake the U.S. as the world's largest economy, this law may be its undoing, as China's population becomes too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers.
Mei Fong reveals the true human impact of government-mandated family planning, 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. This demographic imbalance, Fong argues, will lead to further economic and societal turmoil in the years to come.
Mei Fong is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with over a decade of reporting in Asia, most recently as China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. She is a winner of Amnesty International's Human Rights Press Award, a Ford Foundation grant for investigative journalism, and a New America fellowship.
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