The Guardian

Can the Communist party get out of China’s bedrooms now, please? | Audrey Jiajia Li

I was born in 1983, so have no siblings. Now the government wants bigger families – but young Chinese won’t listen
In 2016, the Chinese government abandoned its one-child policy, allowing all couples to have two children. Photograph: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Chinese millennials such as me are collectively known as the “post-1980 generation”. The controversial “one-child” policy started to be enforced by the Communist party in 1979 out of concern over rapid population growth that could hinder the economic boom that was about to take off. My generation (I was born in 1983) became the first batch of China’s only children. All urban residents were subject to harsh punishments – by way of unaffordable fines and losing their jobs – should they violate the one-child restriction, so giving me a sibling was not an option for my parents.

Growing up, we only children, little princesses and selfish narcissists were just some of them. We were told we had “big ego and low ability”, and that we were destined to become a “lost generation” because we were “spoiled” and never had to share the love, care and material comfort provided by our parents and grandparents.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian3 min readPolitics
Harry And Meghan May Be Heading To Canada But Does Canada Want Them?
The royal couple could find privacy on Vancouver Island but questions have been raised about the cost of providing security
The Guardian3 min read
Simply By Defying The Tabloids, Meghan Has Already Beaten Them | Zoe Williams
Win or lose against the Mail on Sunday, the princess has displayed courage in breaking free of the media’s expectations
The Guardian4 min readSociety
So Your Friend Came Out As Non-binary: Here’s How To Use Pronouns They/them
Janelle Monáe just came out as non-binary, joining a growing number of people who use ‘they/them’ as pronouns. You might be wondering how to address them