The Sex and the City Generation and the Mulberry Child – Part 2/2

While I was reading the reviews on Amazon of the memoir Mulberry Child, I thought that many critics in the West that crucify the Chinese Communist Party due to Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976) seldom mention similar suffering that is happening somewhere else in the world every day.

For example, in India, between 6,000 to 13,000 children die of starvation daily (depending on the source/study you read). Tens of millions have died of starvation and malnutrition since India became a democracy in 1947—constantly repeating a history of suffering generation after generation.

In fact, Mao’s Cultural Revolution is now history as slavery in the United States was (past tense—slavery has returned) history due to the bloody American Civil War (1861 – 1865) and the Civil Rights Movement in the US (1955 – 1968).  Parents should learn from the mistakes of history and teach the children so they may avoid making the same mistakes.

Jian started writing the “Mulberry Child” memoir in the year 2000 when her daughter Lisa was still a teenager. The reason she wrote the memoir was because she was having difficulty communicating with her daughter and did not want her to forget where she came from (Lisa was born in China and came to the US at age four years six months).  It took eight years for Jian to finish the memoir due to her demanding work schedule.

The memoir focuses on the past but the documentary focuses on the present—the relationship between a mother and daughter.

At first, when the documentary of the “Mulberry Child” went into production, Lisa, the daughter, resisted getting involved. Today, she is proud that she was part of the process, and she is still discovering what her Chinese heritage means.

However—it is obvious from watching the YouTube interview (above)—Lisa is more of an American member of the “Sex and the City” generation than she is a Chinese immigrant to the US.

Therefore, it is the duty of mothers/parents that love their children—that do not want them to repeat the mistakes of the past—to take them on this journey of discovery that Jian Ping took her daughter Lisa on.

Once the next generation forgets the suffering of the past, history may repeat itself.

Return to The Sex and the City Generation and the Mulberry Child – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

6 Responses to The Sex and the City Generation and the Mulberry Child – Part 2/2

  1. merlin says:

    I’ve got a web page you might be interested in that ties in with your overall blog.

    • If Escape From America Magazine is correct, then America is no longer a republic or a democracy — it is a corporatocracy. A lot of people must be reading this magazine. It has a high search-engine ranking (the lower the Alexa number, the higher the ranking).

      I understand that Tom was a Republican with a Masters in Political Science and that something happened when he was envolved in Republican political campaign that soured him on American politics. If I recall correctly, I wonder what that was.

  2. funnyphuppo says:

    Great blog. It is a refreshing change to read about China from an outsider’s point of view who is not biased against China.

    Getting back to the topic on hand, don’t you feel that parents who have struggled to get their children to the US, out of China, would also be very against their moving back? And doesn’t that attitude in many ways reinforce the sense of entitlement these children feel?

    There are of course 2 kinds of immigrants from Asia to the US. There are those who came to the US to study, and then transitioned to a great job and lifestyle in the US. Then there were those who were struggling to survive in China or India, finally put together enough money to get the “American Dream” and then continued to struggle in the US till their children went through high school and college. I am talking about the second kind here.

    • There is a third category of immigrant from Asia to the U.S. — Americans and the Western media tend to focus on the illegal aliens from Mexico.

      However, according to , in 2008, only 61% of illegal aliens come from Mexico. Eight percent (920,000) come from the Philippines, Korea, China and India.

      “Getting back to the topic on hand, don’t you feel that parents who have struggled to get their children to the US, out of China, would also be very against their moving back?”

      Yes, the odds are that this is true. My father-in-law (age 81) doesn’t want any of his four children to move back even though he still lives in China. On the other hand, my step daughter’s other grandfather (81) was a high ranking member in the Communist Party (he is retired since retirement from government service is mandatory in China at age 67) and fought in the Civil War against the Nationalists and he does not have this fear—he has one son in the United States that is now a US citizen and one son still living in Shanghai, and his sons are not members of the CCP.

      In fact, severe poverty in India is horrible and hasn’t changed much since 1947 when India won its independence from the UK. In addition, there is still poverty in China and many in China have not forgotten Mao’s Cultural Revolution and fear that the CCP might revert to those times because there is an element in the CCP that still believes and supports Maoism. This same element inside the Party feels strongly that Deng Xiaoping’s elements in the CCP are traitors to Mao’s vision.

      However, I doubt that Chinese immigration to the US has much to do with the CCP. The Chinese have been coming to the United States since before 1848 and due to racism in the United States, in 1882 the U.S. Congress passed The Chinese Exclusion Act freezing the Chinese community in the US in place preventing if from growing and assimilating into American society a European immigrant groups did. It wouldn’t be until 1952 that this practice would end.


      When Deng Xiaoping visited the US, the American president asked him about human rights in China and why China wasn’t allowing its citizen to immigrate to America. Deng replied that America could have as many Chinese as it wanted and it was reported that Deng asked, “How many do you want?”

      The U.S. President at the time did not reply.

      From the 1980’s, many more people from China migrated to the U.S. One of the newest Chinese immigrants are adoptees. Most foreign-born adoptions to the United States are from China.

      Nevertheless, due to economic improvements in China and other developing countries outside of the United States, in recent years there has been a trend toward reverse immigrantion, and illegal immigrantion to the US had declined in recent years.

      For example, “Recession, uncertainties and difficulties in the immigration process and emerging opportunities in India combined, have created a flow of reverse migration from the United States to India. There is a trickle added to this from the UK, and the dam has burst in Dubai. So, suddenly, Indian cities are full of returnees, with a bit of cash, trying to start a new life all over again.”


      “In growing numbers, experts say, highly educated children of immigrants to the United States are uprooting themselves and moving to their ancestral countries. They are embracing homelands that their parents once spurned but that are now economic powers.

      “For generations, the world’s less-developed countries have suffered so-called brain drain — theflight of many of their best and brightest to the West. That has not stopped, but now a reverse flow has begun, particularly to countries like China and India and, to a lesser extent, Brazil and Russia.”


      “Reverse Immigration Jeopardizes U.S. Economy

      “While the U.S. Border Patrol has its hands full trying to stop the flow of illegal aliens into our country, a Duke University professor says the nation is in danger of losing too many legal immigrants to their native homelands.”


      “Based on all the research I’ve done, my guess is over the last 20 years you’ve had 50,000 each going back to India and China. Before I used to say that 50,000 more will go in the next five years. Based on the economic downturn, my prediction is that 100,000 skilled workers will return, both to India and to China, over the next five years or so. I call this a reverse brain drain.

      “The funny thing is the only thing they gave the U.S. higher marks for was health care benefits. Almost every other dimension, the returnees say they were better back home. In China and India, they found that the education was much better; the children were much better off. The Chinese were not that optimistic about education back home, but other than that, the majority reported that things are better back home than they are over here.”


  3. meralgiaparesthetica says:

    For a completely different view of the Cultural Revolution, see The Unknown Cultural Revolution:

    “The Unknown Cultural Revolution challenges the established narrative of China’s Cultural Revolution, which assumes that this period of great social upheaval led to economic disaster, the persecution of intellectuals, and senseless violence. Dongping Han offers a powerful account of the dramatic improvements in the living conditions, infrastructure, and agricultural practices of China’s rural population that emerged in this period. Drawing on extensive local interviews and records in rural Jimo County, in Shandong Province, Han shows that the Cultural Revolution helped overthrow local hierarchies, establish participatory democracy and economic planning in the communes, and expand education and public services, especially for the elderly. Han lucidly illustrates how these changes fostered dramatic economic development in rural China.

    “The Unknown Revolution documents a neglected side of China’s Cultural Revolution, demonstrating the potential of mass education and empowerment for radical political and economic transformation. It is a bold and provocative work, which demands the attention not only of students of contemporary Chinese history but of all who are concerned with poverty and inequality in the world today.”

    And for more on Mao and his Revolution, see

    • Here is more on this topic——news that I have not found reported in the Western media.

      Why doesn’t American politicians and the U.S. media want Americans to know stories such as these about what is happening in China regarding democratic progress?

      It seems that the only news the Western media reports on China is about one of the rare cases of a democracy advocate being arrested for breaking Chinese law as the Chinese Constitution describes it.

      Consider that there are more than 1.3 billion people in China and less than 10,000 Chinese (mostly living outside China) that have signed democracy petitions demanding more political freedom in China and the number of democracy advocates in China that are arrested number maybe less than 25 individuals in more than thirty years.

      More than 600,000 villages across China are participating in a national movement toward meaningful democracy—democracy from the bottom up—in a communist nation of 1.3 billion people. For more than a decade, at the invitation of the Chinese government, The Carter Center has aided this effort by helping to standardize election practices among villages and by promoting good governance and citizen participation. In this audio slideshow, join voters in Hetao as they elect local officials in a process typical of village elections across China.

      What method is better for bringing democracy to China?

      A. From the bottom up slowly over a period of years or decades so the people learn to get used to a form of participatory government that has never existed in China’s History
      B. In one day without any time to adapt and learn as the few high-profile democracy advocates (supported by Western/American politicians and the Western media) demand
      C. A violent democratic revolution similar to the one that already took place in 1911 and failed leading to decades of divisiveness, anarchy, chaos, Civil War, death, suffering and unrest.

      How many countries have successfully become democracies and stayed democracies equal to the United States and France through violent revolution?

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: