Alec Ash, author of Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China, a new non-fiction book that follows six lives from childhood to late twenties, shares some of his insights about the generational trends shaping young China today, and how it connects to China’s history of youth protest.
There are more than 320 million people in mainland China between the ages of sixteen and thirty. Children of the one-child policy, born after Mao, with no memory of Tiananmen, they are the first generation to come of age in a market-driven, more international China. Who are these young Chinese? What are their experiences and aspirations, so radically different from their elders? And how will their differing views and values decide the future of their nation?