Podcast: China’s Millennials: Ambitious, Bold, and Dissatisfied

Podcast: China’s Millennials: Ambitious, Bold, and Dissatisfied

from Asia Unbound

More on:


This week I interview Eric Fish, content producer at the Asia Society, whose wonderful new book, China’s Millennials: The Want Generation, gives us a fascinating insider’s look at China’s youth today. Fish discovers an informed youth that is finding its voice on issues such as the environment, women’s rights, and the rule of law, and pressing for change. They are also nationalistic and strong supporters of Chinese territorial claims.

How committed are they to the Communist Party? Fish describes a grand bargain that the government struck with previous generations—you can get rich as long as you stay out politics—and notes that young people were not part of this bargain. Not only did they not agree to stay out of politics, but the government is no longer able to offer the same guarantee of their future economic well-being. The impact of this broken social contract on their support for the Communist Party is likely to be profound.

Listen in as Fish shares his stories about the young people he has met, what they care about, the pressures they face, how they differ from previous generations, and what changes they are bringing to their country.

Elizabeth C. Economy

C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies