Ahhh… totalitarianism is grand.
The man she calls Uncle Li belongs to China’s army of family planning officers. Stationed in every city, town and village in China, for the past 35 years their job has been to hunt down families suspected of violating the country’s draconian rules on how many children couples can have.
But with the end of the one-child policy at the beginning of this year, some, like Li Bo, are being retrained for a different role. Now he could even be mistaken for a Chinese Father Christmas visiting remote villages in the mountains of Shaanxi province with a bag full of toys and picture books.
Along with 68 of his colleagues, Li is part of a pilot programme involving academics from Shaanxi Normal University and Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Programme. His new job is to teach parents and grandparents how to develop toddlers’ minds by talking, singing and reading to them.