New Youth: Watching Young China

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Speaker: Alec Ash

New Youth: Watching Young China, In conversation with Alec Ash, author of Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China

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? Alec Ash, author of a new book that follows six such lives from childhood to late twenties, shares some of his insights about the generational trends shaping young China today, and how it connects to modern China’s history of youth and protest.

Alec Ash is a writer and journalist in Beijing, author of Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China, nonfiction about the lives of six young Chinese published by Picador in June 2016.

He studied English literature at Oxford University, and first moved to Beijing in 2008. His articles have appeared in The EconomistDissentForeign Policy and elsewhere. He is a regular blogger for the Los Angeles Review of Books, contributing author to the book of reportage Chinese Characters and co-editor of While We’re Here, an anthology of stories from, a group blog which he founded and edits.

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