Ripples of the Population Policy

On February 1, the NPR show Fresh Air broadcast an interview with Mei Fong, author of the book One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment.

One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment

Here’s the introduction to the interview:

Fong explores the wide-ranging impact of what she calls the world’s “most radical experiment” in her new book, One Child. She says that among the policy’s unintended consequences is an acute gender imbalance.

“When you create a system where you would shrink the size of a family and people would have to choose, then people would … choose sons,” Fong says. “Now China has 30 million more men than women, 30 million bachelors who cannot find brides. … They call them guang guan, ‘broken branches,’ that’s the name in Chinese. They are the biological dead ends of their family.”

Fong says the policy also led to forced abortions and the confiscation of children by the authorities. Looking ahead, China is also facing a shortage of workers who can support its aging population.

Go here to listen to (or read) the entire conversation. It’s a fascinating look at the background and consequences of China’s 30 year experiment in population control.

And if you’re like me, you’ll add it to your reading wish list!