Author(s): Duncan Hewitt
The peasant revolutionary turned lifestyle guru, the former Shaolin monk working on a Shanghai building site, the once-conservative father running a gay hotline - and the teenagers who just want to dress up as their favourite Japanese cartoon characters - welcome to the new China, a nation in motion, where whole streets are rebuilt in a week, car ownership is soaring, education goes private and rural workers migrate to the cities in search of a better life.It is a transformation that has swept through the country since the first economic reforms of the 1980s, when Deng Xiaoping announced that China would have to 'let some of the people get rich first'. But while many have benefited under the new 'aspiration nation,' others are struggling to keep up in what is now one of the most divided societies on earth. Former BBC correspondent Duncan Hewitt lives and works in China and has witnessed first hand the impact and speed of these vast social and economic upheavals. His timely book speaks with the voices of everyday people as they learn to adapt to one of the most rapid transformations in human history.