For 35 years the one-child policy loomed large in Western perceptions of China, and news that Beijing will now permit all couples a second child has prompted a spate of commentary. The policy’s origins, however, are not widely known. Perhaps they are felt to be self-evident. This draconian measure might seem to have been a stereotypically Chinese response to a crisis of overpopulation, shaped by Asiatic traditions of state supremacy and implemented with Maoist brutality. But that description is almost entirely wrong.
A. E. Clark translates and, through Ragged Banner Press, publishes the literature of a few independent writers in the People's Republic of China who address social and historical topics deemed sensitive by the regime.