One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment

Mei Fong


When China decided to do some social engineering, the result was most unexpected. It was so successful, that now that China wants to reverse the one-child policy, people are resisting. Raising one child is much cheaper than two or more and make fewer demands on their parents. People are quite content with their one child. Now that China is facing an aging population and a diminishing labor force, it is trying to encourage multiple children. It is, however, easier to stop than to restart a population boom.

In an intriguing parallel story, Ms. Fong details her own attempts to conceive a child. Visiting fertility clinics in the US and China, she tries in-vitro fertilization more than once before succeeding.

I found the two stories equally gripping, and the book was well organized and well-written. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for China and what further experiments in social engineering it will attempt.