Little Emperors: A Year with the Future of China

Little Emperors
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In her latest book Xinran wanted to focus on the winners from the policy — the children who remained with their parents. And the problem is, these winners, most of them have no idea how lucky they are or what's the price that the Chinese family, including their own parents, paid. Xinran said the values of the children born under the policy had been skewed, yet these children would one day be leaders in their country. That is part of your life before this generation. One of the stories Xinran shares through her book is of her friend's son Du Zhuang; when he arrived in London to stay with Xinran and her son, they soon discovered he had difficulty with even the simplest tasks.


Little Emperors: A Year with the Future of China [JoAnn Dionne] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Short-listed for the City of Victoria. Editorial Reviews. Review. Immediacy of language and lightness of tone make the memoir readable, fun and vivid while at the same time providing insights into .

I said he just graduated from university, and the mum said: 'Yes, every single weekend I went to his university to tidy up his bedroom'. One girl was 13 and she told her mum 'If you don't stop, I don't want anyone to share my family, I will jump off the building'.


So the mum had an abortion. But there is a big question mark over whether this generation will embrace having children of their own. In , China loosened its one-child policy so single children themselves could have more than one child. But Xinran said she found some children of the policy were finding it hard to live with a partner, let alone have a child together.

China's little emperors

She recounted some brutal responses from teenage single children protesting against their one-child parents now trying for a second child. Then two other families the parents tried to argue with the children, but unfortunately the same thing happened, one [was] 14, [the other was] 18, they did jump off the building. What [does] family mean to those single children? Topics: family-and-children , children , community-and-society , population-and-demographics , world-politics , china , asia.

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China’s “little emperors” aren’t as spoilt and selfish as they seem

Photo: Xinran Xue was shocked to see how amoral one-child policy children were. Getty Image, file image. Since they usually have only one child, middle-class parents have the financial capacity and the willingness to spend as much as they want on their children. Opportunities are also rife for confectionary makers and soft-drink manufacturers.

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Packaged sweet and savoury snacks are growing in popularity among consumers, with popcorn in particular becoming extremely popular. In , year olds have become the highest-earning age group in China. They aspire towards, and can afford, expensive Western lifestyles: holidays, beauty products, trendy clothes and designer bags.

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The importance of education in Chinese culture should be duly noted for those who wish to target the little emperors. This means that from a young age parents teach their single children to be the best in their classes. Even toys, games, DVDs, video games and TV shows are more likely to be marketable if they have an educational edge. At the moment, one of the most popular trends is to teach children English from a very young age. Educational systems such as Montessori institutions may have good prospects. Traditionally consumers have espoused Confucian values, placing greater emphasis on family and community than personal desires. But these little emperors are the centre of attention, given lavish presents, and with no siblings they have no need to share. The Chinese government remains opposed to complete globalisation and the diluting of Chinese culture — not to mention threats to the supremacy of the Communist party.

For example, it still attempts to retain its control over the Internet: the BBC website is not accessible in China and Google infamously censored its search services in order to gain greater access to the Chinese market. Nevertheless, the Chinese government has relaxed its grip, and Western culture, especially that of the USA, is now part of the everyday life of young urban dwellers. Many students also go abroad to finish their university education — with more Chinese university students outside China than within, which has also served to widen the horizons of Chinese youth and young adults.

Japanese culture, with video games and cartoon series such as Pokemon, is also a source of great entertainment for Chinese children. Chinese teens and professionals regularly enjoy watching Hollywood films and use iPods. Food is becoming Westernised as well, as shown by the popularity of Western brands such as McDonalds and Starbucks. Summer camps such as the Golden Dream Summer Camp are targeting middle class parents who have recognized the need to instill some discipline into their spoilt children.

In these camps, children are subjected to a tough regime with basic rations and tough exercise which aims to improve confidence, develop ambition and the will to succeed. The emphasis on education and study and the constant pressure to succeed may also be laying the foundations for future rebellion.

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This rebellion is likely to be self-centered and based on creating a sense of individuality. Despite the one-child policy, birth rates have risen slightly in recent years. Rich urban families can afford to have more than one child as they can circumvent the law by giving birth abroad or bribing officials or paying the resultant fines.