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tv   After Words  CSPAN  January 16, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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there is a three year-old kid. by 82 years old she could read. leader have any idea what's coming. >> so many that we talk to mention the millenials and they are coming in terms whether or not they want to take a certain job and asking questions that were never asked. what is the purpose confects how else do you see yourself? diversity and inclusion?
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that has tremendous impact san outcomes but hal included that works in the company that is fascinating stuff and they said we never confronted these and if we don't we cannot innovate to be the driving force we want to be. >> no longer to do well during the week end that is important it does change the equation.
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they don't want to go to work unless there is the purpose. they're willing to give up the money for purposes. if you mention in dr. porter talking about shared value with shareholder value but now talking about a share value. so that paradigm is shifting. >> would ensure vice for a woman working in a male-dominated field? >> obviously we want her to do that isn't it may be more diversified for her to come
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in and succeed. we talk about issues like failure, heftier, lack of confidence and sometimes there are all of the above the the situation in which he described. >> there is a part to the fear of failure. people of technology can fail fast. so those that started the organization grows to coated organized failure parties. so those who ought to be afraid of the word no that you will not ask for things if you are afraid.
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if by the time to go into the workforce if you want the complete the male environment. in day did just that by asking the question. >> we have to bring this to a close. we will have copies right outside for purchase. think she'll. [applause] if. ♪ ♪
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>> host: mei fong welcome. you just published her first book it is the subject of long debate your book is called "one child" the story of china's most radical
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expeeriment" we will talk like you chose the subject tonight answer the questions but first it is helpful to define for people what we are talking about. what is the one child policy? >> it is a misnomer of we use to set up a set of rules are restrictions -- restrictions china placed. you could call it 1.five so with a lot of regulations stick like a basket of policies? when did that go into effect >> with a 1979 but i seek the 1980 with a communist
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party we are inviting everybody to move to though one child family. civics of people imagine this is the palaces -- policy now but it actually went under effect before. why did they think they needed this? that was a cultural revolution and. and the population was growing with a significant worry that the population wed overwhelm and therefore to do something spinach you compare though one child policy to a crash diet that was the gun for the reasons
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that have merit. was the rationale? what was the goal? >> for economic reasons china was very poor. that it had staged a legitimacy and had set into place am preaching by the year 2000. they figured out it would not work of in the current - - current population to one child per family household. with those productivity is. bin that is heavier going
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for. and it was the much space worse if with lunkers in fewer programs. demerit later, and fewer children. and during that period of time that i was pretty successful isn't they kept going at that rate. to any of those with the one child policy. >> the head of a group of scientist who drew up to one child policy. what people don't know is
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there russian trade misled since been in basically didn't have a lot of training of any of those things we would have imagined. >> why were rocket scientist to citing disciplined? >> this is like the cultural revolution and. the economist gore sociologists. they have no political capita or computers to work this out for demography. delete group of academics they had all the capital issue of resources.
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because they were criticized. so the threats of of missile and what could be adjusted up and down. >> their training told them to continue the process. sova o with those issues of human behavior and is the rocket science and they are restricted to one child and at some point you will need women. >> it is called china's most radical experiment.
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>> of was that way at the time but so these are big concerns. so at this time to run out of resources. and with the sterilization program and with that they received gold medals. that the world not immediately recognize a negative consequences?
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>> there was support for the idea because there were concerns we would overwhelm the planet. but also for a long time with that population policy if anybody thought about it how could you possibly think that would end up with great results? but that was the belief of people who do not want to go. in the course of the book to this day the environmentalist who still say we stood show how -- should have a one-year
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policy. >> trend is sterilized over 20 million or than the combined population of the three largest u.s. cities. in addition what else did they do to a force policy? >> it was such an unpopular policy may be bought only have one child but but to be legislated into the bedroom so for sterilization reform for those that did not use contraception and your own. if you have the one child to have to be sterilized like get or not. >> and they were designed the iud but then there were forced abortions of course,
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i think after six months those were illegal. >> talk about this case the food dishy? >> a woman from the countryside they had a daughter first then was pregnant with his second child and had helped it would be permissible because there were my courage workers but the officials said you cannot have this child if you want to have the second child you have to pay a fine it was 6,000 u.s. dollars they cannot afford it a try to negotiate. she is trying to read fade
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to carry the baby full term. they took her away as seven months and forcibly ejected her too premature the fetus -- pitcher the deliver the fetus we would not know about this but social media. soar relative had come to visit her in the hospital she was lying there with the fetus next to her the day snapped the picture and it went viral it was a human face. >> i remember that was the intersection between the technological changes and economic change and the political policy and was out of step with people's lives society to have the iphone
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wired to their rest of the world the captain of this policy and it was a relic. so do they have any impact on policy? >> i do in terms of public awareness. as the city to roller there was a sense that policy wasn't significant anymore and yes there were issues and then china would hold the olympics but it wasn't that big of an issue anymore. and since they could afford to pay a fine now. of the bigger cities it was easier to avoid detection m. so they had a sense that yes it is still happening.
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>>, the people are subject to the policy? >> ab one-third of all households are at the strict policy the rest have more fluid restrictions but there is a rule you could have a second child that is the only restriction than maybe have a second child if you read a dangerous position like a fishermen or a call later stated there was some news in the headlines of of change of policy what happened? >> china announced it would move to a nationwide to child policy. but there is still the restrictions you have to get a birth permit so maybe a
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bigger playpen but it is still a playpen. >> it is listed rules that they could still intervene spirit you have to show your marriage certificate if you are a single mother it will be impossible for you to get a registration. >> switch gears how did you get interested in the subject? you write in the book by of the youngest of five daughters all conceded hopes of the sun that never was. >> i live in malaysia so my grandparents migrated to malaysia but becoming to the always ended my family's
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case there is a big reverence for the sons and my father was the 16th at of 80 that just counts the boys by the way. he had three wives. u.s.'s 16th from the third wife in malaysia. >> when you were growing up? to do have a sense of china? >> china was always there in the background with cultural traditions. when i was a child my ancestral tablet to hold up to grey years as a punishment because we were five daughters every time we showed up to be disapproving.
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with a tidy would be put out into the village you would not exist. >> with other never ceased to regret his lack of a son or remind his daughter's their liabilities. is to be vetted freddie chill terms? >> yes. we were growing up they he would not spend a lot of money to send this to college because we were girls. >> td -- did he? >> no. i went to college on scholarships stick did you know, you wanted to be a writer at that point? >> i had a wider competition.
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with the british colony's. that the offshoot of that is i was invited to meet the clean. this is probably the most exciting thing to happen isn't that was that. grandfather the first time he said maybe she is not the liability. she is an asset. [laughter] states senate that point you have already paid for your education and. so later you decided want to go to china. are you working a said journalist? what was the path that led you there? >> at had a scholarship from
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the local paper company and they would send us your time girl reporters in that was the start as soon discovered that there was more than this. the eight did not take that path would be with china even to speak in the erratic but attributed dirty shed correspondent but i seem to be too close to full of relatives that would-be been in another setting. it was full of stories all over china with doors and toilets. but somehow might have fled the there.
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but that is how it started. >> host: said you went to read the and trade and? >> i was doing a lot of reporting of the manufacturing stick your also a scholar at the american university. >> tavis there for years. >> host: during that period you said you were interested in the subject of the one child policy. we will talk about that moment but did you begin to see that around you? >> was seeing that in hong kong and 2003. title was the factory of the world.
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with gene sampras years toenail clippers. to hear from as factory workers who said we cannot get workers i said how could you have difficulty? sweatshop to allotted economist even at that time there was a sense that this is a short-term economic issue stick then something happens in 2008 to look at this and a new way. what was that? >> i moved to beijing to write to about the olympics. i don't know about sports but it is a wonderful prism the big muddy kuwait to the olympics the marketing, the
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kgb infrastructure. but at that time the earthquake happened. >> get killed tens of thousands and was the largest earthquake in a long time. you say they happened to be covering myanmar? i was down there to see what happened after the cyclone but it was very restrictive. so i was frustrated i could not get in. then went back to beijing based on the national -- national disaster so i turned my blackberry and thought what happened?
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all the reporters beta beeline. i flew back to early. i thought how can you do this story? so that is like china as population was very popular. so i thought there must be a lot of people trying to get back. smith followed a group of construction workers back home and it was a very sad journey because at the end they discover their families had been killed. >> host: at the time this is when it was a difficult place to be reporting.
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the government had taken steps to manage the story and tried to control the narrative getting down to the rest of the world. so when you got there you discover that there were a lot of families that have lost there one child? >> it had a test pilot so there were very co-workers and that was china's plan they said we could do this for the rest of china. but that was very tragic for these families have lost there only child so one of the first things that i did
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to do reverse a vasectomies or that sterilization process. >> if there is the term talk about what that means. >> parents who have lost there only child. it is a phenomenon that nobody knew what to college and then 76,000 but consistently tried to lobby their she because the argument they are the only child but china hasn't developed a social safety net.
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so that is making your economic sense but the issues as far as getting into a nursing home. . . down 201 child family situation, you don't really have the status unless your parent.
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use that parental status. >> one of the things that has always been interesting, when you talk to young people even though we know about the bases of operation and everything else, sometimes they will say, if it hadn't been for this policy i never would've gotten the college. what do you make of that? and also, it's perilous to try to describe chinese attitudes to broadly. but how do they regard the one child policy? >> a study by the pew center , two thirds of chinese people support the one child policy. it was down to one question. do you support the one child policy.
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if you ever lived in china, get into the high school, the whole concept. so i think the communist party squandered this kind of goodwill the people have by channeling into such a painful, you know, course. there was a lot of support for people. there was. it's like forced abortions or sterilization. >> when you were writing about this, those of us to a foreign passport write about china, the question of what is our place, do we have the
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right, the responsibility to criticize policy? there is a view that well, chinawell, china is it someplace. they should govern themselves. what you make of that? >> i have enormous sympathy for the idea. china should grow economically. of course the idea, and one or two generations everyone goes from bicycle to a bmw. the one child policy is how people get to that, i'm all for it. but the problem was it didn't. it really didn't have that much do with economic growth >> and that is one of the crucial insights. question aboutinsights. question about the book, we will it be published in
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mainland china? >> three years ago i did receive an offer from the chinese. they wanted to buy the right to publish the book. i haven't written the book yet. it's will be off. when i finish the book, a.where that is off the table. that version of the book. >> perhaps hong kong. when did the government begin to realize that it needed to change the policy? >> about 15 years ago. they started writing together to collate scientific evidence. really leading china on the path. they found all these numbers.
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both rates had placed far faster. they found all these issues with gender imbalance. and so we presented this evidence. they said, you know, it was never meant to last forever. and then we change it to something else.else. and at that point they were lobbying, let's do this. keep whatever results you have. we should encourage people to have more children, not less. the communist party dragged its heels. five or six years down the line is when they made this change. >> when i started to say that, those that agree to formally by the government always that not consistent with the kind of political language being used?
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how do they respond? >> there's a sense that okay, you might change. i. i think it was more an issue of structural problems. because the one child policy , in order to enforce that they created this huge system. basically administered the family planning with trickle down. for something so complex and have really intimate workings. is this huge machinery that came up around. and the collection. so to dismantle this huge structure, take away the massive source of revenue was clearly something. i don't think it was as much an argument but the demographic problems but
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more an issue out ofof how to retake it down. >> interest groups in politics. the writing the book that china is confronting a population that is too old, to mail, and too few. which of these is the most serious? >> i think tool. whenever before. a china were to form its own country will be the world's largest country. the three largest most populous countries. the cohort born before. the problem is you reduce the working population. and then unless there's a
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famine of war or something is people are definitely going to grow old. with this could result in some of the speculation we don't know for sure. this big group of elderly people will age. >> today we are seeing the chinese economy begin to grow. is any of that slowing? >> it is. one of the big problems, export the economy, manufacturing powered by cheap labor which has gone down. there are just a few workers who want to get paid more. trying to transition from
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within you have a problem there to please you have a huge aging population. across the economy they don't buy the latest cell phones or cars. in china's particular case they save a huge amount. china's attempts to transition to this and to have a huge nation of retirees will be as helpful as repelling northern invaders. >> i have been the places in beijing. i went for us -- went to a school that used to be a kindergarten. there's a total inversion in the way the population is organized. do you get the sense,sense, is there a way to predict what economic effects will be down the line? that kind of absence? >> we look at other countries, japan is one
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example and certainly the japanese economy. for a variety of reasons, but one is the age demographic. now in china's case it is hard to say definitively, but is much larger than japan's and secondly they are much less rich than japan. that is going to be much harder as well. and so many other attendant things like hospices, everything else is far less developed. about 50 years to transition china has done within 25 half the amount of time. >> people often say china got old before coverage. another one is the gender imbalance. you read the world has never seen such a huge collection
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of bachelors from men who will not be able to find mates unless china opens its doors to immigration. how much of the gender imbalance is there? >> about 30 million of marriageable age. about the size of canada is pretty significant. and typically within the lowest socioeconomic strata. so every society must have a big gender imbalance. in the case of the middle east for example we have seen an enormous social unrest, the arab spring. in that case our member demographers identify the large group of men. they call that the male youth bulge, tongue-in-cheek. and then in china's case we don't know for sure. china will be more
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aggressive militarily although i think there are many reasons why it could be more aggressive and muscular , but i think you can see in china an image with a have a much bigger gender imbalance. definitely an uptick. economists have worked for every gender imbalance. >> a rise in the crime rate, but is china trying to do about. is there anything that they can do about it? >> mostly they want to encourage to have more children and hopefully down the line it will reduce things. we are not going to see any kind of alleviation of that. i just read recently that china was trying to
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encourage overseas chinese to come back. now i don't know that there would be in a big success. i doubt anything close to those kind of numbers. >> there is a mismatch in effect. women in the city were now getting more education. men in the countryside. >> but the women themselves are not necessarily better off. the one child policy, born after 1918. you did not have any subways to compete with. the best time to compare, so that was good for while. the only living in a society
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where there are much more women than men. you have the upper hand. i think they will be more pressure to get married, scarce commodity. these sierra leone women of the top levels. i don't see that happening. >> and why not? the rules of supply and demand would suggest you should be going up. >> it is hard to uproot an age-old culture. we can all name a lot, but the structure itself is so very male centric.
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the 1st domestic violence law. their issues that favor property from an overweight. all these things are inherently built. the glass ceiling. >> to what degree can that chinese government tried to undo some of the economic, political, and demographic effects? >> the 1st thing they will do is probably raise the retirement age. china has one of the earliest retirement ages. so they will do that. of course it's very unpopular personal level. so that's going to happen. they are definitely trying
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to build up the social service safety net. great inroads, but it is not enough by far. >> when you look at the legacy is there anything in the, this was a good thing, as part of it was a good thing. >> i think was a good thing was what came before that. china started off, we tend to confuse the one child policy. and it really was more of a graduated process. started out doing things and you know also encouraging more equality. these are all good things along the way. juices up economically. this very extreme sort of approach.
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>> this is been a hallmark of the governance of the last year or so, you take something that could on its face be valuable and turn it into a great policy. >> this great radical thing and get in front of everyone else. >> after all they have begun to change policy, the two child policy and people aren't rushing out the next day and having a 2nd child. how many people are taking advantage of the policy. >> the policy for a while. the exception that if couples, if one of the couples, and for their less than 15 percent of eligible
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couples. so people extrapolate. and then when you look back at all the reasons, a lot of public opinion, but also inherently the policy become successful. changing the mindset. so many people. one child because we are going to get everything through that one child. >> exactly. >> economic advantages. >> one of the things you looked at which is fascinating, ten or 15 years ago people talked about the rise of the little emperor, the one child who have been the object of all of the attention from two parents of four grandparents generation of spoiled kids. what happened?
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>> he grew up. he and she, they all grew up so their parents, 80s and 90s, and the object of this position of all this wonderful expectation is going to have to give back. they called the four to one structure. so that sense of the little emperor becoming a little slave is happening more because china is already. that will jump to 60 percent. the metric and everything else that afflicts old age. imagine that little emperor. the financial issues. we know how difficult it is to care for aging parents. the emotional sense of the demands that you have in the
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mansion shuttling up. >> it is probably the same for you. the burden of trying to support their parents is extraordinary and unique. >> and they have more children. in many cases i don't want to have the 2nd child because i don't know that i can take care of my parents. i cannot in all good conscience have a larger family of children. >> historically of course chinese families were large. do you think that china will go back in the direction of large families what do you think there will be a cultural overhang? >> i do not see how they can. the urbanization, so many people are now for the 1st time more in favor. so where will all these
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large families live together? much different when you are on the farm. bingo. >> of other countries tried to copy what kind -- china did? the one child policy? >> a large amount of propaganda. propaganda going into the fact that i was in malaysia and next door singapore. but they also have propaganda campaigns. pictures where youwere you would have a loaf of bread and many hands reaching for it. many countries do it. most of them now, the declining population.
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they tried to turn on the baby with no success. >> an interesting element is that you got pregnant in the course of working as a journalist in china. talk to me about that experience. >> you know, i have -- the process of infertility. for a long timea long time i was not sure if i wanted children are could have been. when the earthquake happened i was 36. i was also aware that time was running out. what it happened, following them to the end of their journey i did not realize it at the time but i was myself pregnant and did not know it.
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i went back to beijing and was feeling tired and depressed. i tried to be very restrained, but it is hard. you see a scan in the heart beating. i'm pregnant. very strange. you understand the reasons why people want children. and then i had a miscarriage again, i was devastated by that working my way through it. and then it was a strange process. i discovered there are a class of people and all these other technologies to trying get around.
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many weremany were trying to get multiples so that they were not lose their job. >> trying to get multiples because they would only get one shot at it. >> i met a woman who was a teacher and had two children and would lose their job. and then people would take fertility drugs for the same thing. fake twins. people would register their 2nd child is a twin. a huge percentage of fake twins. if you access to a world that many would never see.
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>> felt hesitant about writing. so messy. not sure we want to hear this. at the same time it can't be writing about something isn't it does this and i imagine the experience is shaped the way you look at this project. >> we hear all these, you know, weighing all the costs
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that's one reason why. >> ii can't let you go without talking about what is on people's minds. "wall street journal" reporter a country on the precipice. >> i see china, i great stretch. all low hanging fruit.
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and this is the hard part. they have to do a lot more with a lot less people. chinese universities are pretty that. they see a huge flood of graduate students. the reason why it's is not because of the university. but an actual child. i don't know that it makes for radical societies. >> one of the other things, what is it mean down more powerful? how do they regard china's
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rise? jittery embraces? >> they embrace it initially. they are looking at it with great nervousness. you can't help but wonder's. chinese policies by dictating. it is a lot of tiptoeing around. >> did you encounter any obstacles? >> public security. i have a foreign passport.
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i wish i could say the same. >> he spent a lot of time in the united states and asia. for a long time a lot of is presumed you know, almost by natural course. the relationship will get more fractures. it is going to have to make room.
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all the issues that come with. hundred 20,000 children. they have given limited asylum benefits of the one child policy's lawyer universities and colleges. mutual coexistence. >> do more writing. >> and at this point you don't have plans to publish it on the mainland.


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