Tens of millions older Chinese are struggling with poverty and loneliness as their children flee villages for cities. Decades of societal turmoil — radical communism followed by rampant capitalism — have frayed the ties that once bound the nation’s families together.
Aug. 28, 2013 A farmer carries cotton from a field through a rural village near Fuyang, in eastern China’s Anhui province. As able-bodied adults seek work in cities in hopes of a better income, more and more villages in China are inhabited mostly by the elderly and children. It has become such a serious problem that the Chinese government has a new law allowing parents to sue their children if they fail to visit and support them. Qilai Shen/For The Washington Post Buy Photo