Former president Jiang Zemin was not only known for his relaxed way of dealing with foreign leaders, he is also fondly remembered by many of the Chinese who met him, recalls author and journalist Zhang Lijia at China File. “Now he is gone. Amid economic downturn and political repression, the Chinese public are remembering his positive side, his warmth and color, and his many talents, such as singing. Nostalgia, like old wine, tastes better as time goes by,” Zhang Lijia writes.
China’s authorities first raised the number of allowed children from two to three per family, and might now even cancel all restrictions. Journalist Zhang Lijia, author of Lotus: A Novel(January 2017) on prostitution in China, looks at the troubled relationship between feminism and motherhood in her mother country, in an interview with the Italian publication Il Manifesto.
China’s new three-child policy has received a lackluster reception among its population. Author Zhang Lijia offers a few tips for the government to make its policy attractive for women: offer financial incentives, significantly expand its childcare capacity, and promote women-friendly policies and equality, she writes in the South China Morning Post.
China’s internet censors have been cracking down on feminist groups because they are considered by the government to be extremist by opposing traditional marriage. A wrong signal, says author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post, and it will certainly not help the country in solving its demographic problems.
Women are among the most active in the workforce, but political participation is lagging like nowhere else in the world. Social commentator Zhang Lijiia dives into the patriarchal culture of China and how political participation in government can be improved, for the South China Morning Post.
China’s government tries to raise the number of newborns to offset an aging population, but the latest demographics show Chinese do not follow that lead as the country’s birthrate is dropping. People choose to make a different choice, explains social commentator Zhang Lijia in the Guardian. “And society has become more tolerant.”
Overwork in China – called the 996 culture – is rampant, especially in the IT industry. The recent death of a Pinduoduo employee also shocked social commentator Zhang Lijia. For her, this cannot be solved by the industry or employees, but the government should step in, she writes in the South China Morning Post.
Panic struck some commentators in China when recent official figures showed the country counted 240 single households, the largest number for any country in the world. While China and the Chinese still might have to get used to this feature, those numbers are not surprising, says author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post.
A hidden problem in China are the 70 million children in the countryside, left behind by their migrant parents who left to work elsewhere in de big cities, says author Zhang Lijia in an interview with the Borgen Project. Many drop out of school and those who remain face dropping quality of their education. Zhang Lijia is currently working on a book on left-behind children (LBC’s).