“China In Our Hands”, A report on China’s One Child Policy!

Posted: October 10th, 2011

The Sunday Telegraph magazine, Stella, published my short Story on China’s one Child policy  yesterday.  In case you missed it or  would like to see or know a bit more ( and may even want to run the story in your  magazine)  have a look at any of the following :

The  introduction below, Stella’s online link,   a slide show and for the really serious  a downloadable PDF.

“China In Our Hands”, A report on China’s One Child Policy! Words: Katy Regan Pictures: Louis Quail.

Since its introduction in 1978, the One Child Policy has come under great scrutiny, particularly by the West for human rights abuses and harrowing reports of mass sterilization and forced abortions have become commonplace. Whilst undoubtedly these still go on, what we found when we travelled across four provinces to interview one-child families was something unexpected: Yes, there are couples who will do anything to get round the policy, but acceptance of the policy was the norm, and even if people were eligible to have more, they only wanted one child: the poor welcomed the limit for economic reasons and the middle-classes saw it as a lifestyle choice.

The ‘one child story’ is topical right now: China’s Census, published in April this year, increased speculation in the Chinese media and abroad that a review of the one child policy was inevitable due to expected shortages of labour, an alarming increase in boy babies and concerns about the care of the elderly in a nation of only children. Secondly, as China’s amazing economic growth drives it to become the worlds first superpower, some are asking: Is there a link between a nation of highly educated, ambitious, competitive only children and its global ambitions?

We travelled across 4 provinces to photograph and interview some of the 1.4 billion Chinese to see the day to day reality for the families dealing with the legacy of chairman Mao’s One Child policy.

I Hope you enjoy the story and thank you for your time.