Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Illustration by Najeebah Al-Ghadban Listen to our exclusive interview with author Mara Hvistendahl here. “No. No. No.” Mo Yun was flustered. The slim, 40-year-old Chinese citizen had just vacationed in California with her kids, where she had made good on a promise — a trip to Disneyland. Now they were at their departure gate at Los Angeles International Airport, preparing to return to Beijing, when agents approached and announced that they had a warrant for her arrest. They explained that she would need to be separated from her five-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. The agents gave her two options: Put her children on a plane back to China alone to be met by a friend or relative, or keep them in Los Angeles, where they would be handed over to child protective services. “You’re going to need to make a decision, OK?” a Customs and Border Protection agent told her. “Or we can make the decision. It’s up to you.” Mo Yun chose to put her children on the flight to Beijing, alone. Subscribe, register or login to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.