Lijia Zhang

Lijia Zhang

Lijia Zhang is a rocket-factory worker turned social commentator, and the author of a novel, Lotus.

Language spoken
English
Why don’t Chinese women want more babies? It’s not just about money
It is often presumed that government policies are the main factors determining birth patterns in China. This may not be the case anymore. By the end of 2015, China ended the controversial one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children. A baby boom was expected. But it hasn’t materialized and it is very unlikely that it will. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the birth rate in 2019 fell to 1.048, the lowest on record since the founding of the People’s Republic, except in 1961 when millions lost their lives in a widespread famine. After the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong foolishly encouraged women to produce more children, believing that
Protests expose the gulf between Hong Kong and mainland China
When I travel around the world, people like to guess when I am from. “Hong Kong?” “The mainland,” I like to correct them, and add: “We are all Chinese.” Ethnically, we are all Chinese. But mainlanders’ reaction to the Hong Kong protests tells me that there’s a deep divide between the two – a geopolitical one. There’s no poll on the carefully censored topic on the mainland. From measuring the pulse on the internet and talking to friends, I sense that there’s indifference, confusion, anger, fascination, and even admiration. Overall, I would say that most are not sympathetic to the protests. Propaganda has certainly played a role. Some have readily bought the government line that the protests a
China must do more to protect children from sexual abuse
Last month, the Supreme People’s Court of China published four so-called typical cases of sexual abuse of children. The top court vowed to use all means, including the death penalty, to punish child sex offenders. I feel encouraged by the news as it shows China is adopting a zero-tolerance attitude. I was also a victim of child sex abuse, one of many girls molested by a teacher at my primary school in the eastern city of Nanjing. This is a hidden but growing epidemic. News portal Caixin.com reported that some 8% to 12% of China’s 270 million minors might have experienced sexual assault, including rape for 1%.  “It means that nearly 30 million Chinese children could have been the victims of s