The sprawling National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) in China is one of the world’s largest bureaucracies. Its reach spreads from the bustling supercities on China’s eastern seaboard to the remote villages that dot the country’s vast rural interior. For decades, NHFPC officials had responsibility for enforcing China’s One Child Policy. In their relentless drive to keep fertility low, these officials sometimes fined noncompliant families into a state of poverty or even...


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