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Episode 4

The stories of a group of young Chinese. Dahai, Fred, Snail and Xiaoxiao have graduated, now they have to find their own way - a place to live, a job and ultimately a partner.

The stories of young Chinese lives, particularly those young people born under the one-child policy of the 1980s, as they seek to negotiate the expectations of those around them and their own inner desires for self-fulfilment.

There are approximately 322 million Chinese aged between 16 and 30 - a group larger than the population of the USA and destined to have an unprecedented influence on global affairs in the coming years. The one-child policy has led to a generation of only children. There is intense competition for education and jobs, and a tug-of-war between cultural change and tradition, nationalism and the lures of the West.

In episode 4, Dahai, Fred, Snail and Xiaoxiao have graduated, now they have to find their own way - a place to live, a job and ultimately a life-partner. The pressure to marry is considerable - on both young men and women.

Alec Ash studied English literature at Oxford University. After graduating he taught in a Tibetan village in western China for a summer, before moving to Beijing in 2008. He speaks Mandarin and has spent a lot of time with the people he writes about, who are like him, children of the 1980s.

Written by Alec Ash
Read by David Seddon
Abridged and Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

15 minutes

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