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An Undying Love Story: 93-Year-Old Finds Lost Husband After 77 Years

After her husband did not return from the battlefield in 1937 wartime China, Zhang Shuying never forgot about him. After 77 years, the 93-year-old finally finds what she has been looking for.

Manya Koetse

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The story of 93-year-old Zhang Shuying has been shared on China’s social media thousands of times over the past few days. After her husband did not return from the battlefield in 1937 wartime China, she never forgot about him. After 77 years, the 93-year-old finally finds what she has been looking for: her husband’s soul. 

Zhang Shuying was only 14 years old when her mother arranged a blind date between her and army officer Zhong Chongxin in downtown Fuzhou. Although Zhang disliked the men she had met on previously arranged meetings, Zhong Chongxin was different: she immediately became smitten with the tall and gentle military officer. They got married in 1935 and settled down in Nanjing, while the Second Sino-Japanese War was on the way. The newly-weds were still very much in love when Zhong was sent to the battlefield in 1937. He told his young wife not to worry and promised to be back. In the meantime, the 16-year-old Zhang moved to her husband’s hometown of Chongqing. The Chinese tried to fight off the Japanese invader during the battle over Shanghai and the Nanjing Massacre, but thousands of Chinese soldiers and civilians died. As the war continued, Zhang Shuying stopped hearing from her husband. For seven long years, she waited for him to come home.

1The young Zhang Shuying in Nanjing.

In 1944, Zhang met one of her husband’s comrade-in-arms on the streets in Chongqing. After he heard that Zhang had tried to get word from her husband for seven years, he contacted his officers. Finally, Zhang got the news she had been dreading for years; her husband had died in battle. Although she knew of his death, the young widow could not let go of her husband – there was nothing tangible about his death. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, Zhang’s parents and brother left for Taiwan. She decided to stay behind in Chongqing, because she wanted to spend the rest of her life in her husband’s city.

2The young newly-weds Zhang Shuying and Zhong Chongxin.

Zhang got remarried in 1949 and had three children. Although she was still heartbroken over her first husband’s death, she did not tell her children the story until 1988 as she did not want to burden them with her past. Zhang had one wish: she wanted something tangible on her husband’s death, she wanted to know where his last resting place was. When her son heard about his mother’s biggest wish, he went on the search for Zhong Chongxin. After decades of research, assisted by volunteers, Zhong Chongxin’s name was finally found on a war memorial (a spirit tablet) in the Martyrs’s Shrine in Taipei. This is where Zhong was enshrined together with other fallen soldiers.

On November 22nd 2014 the moment finally arrived that Zhang Shuying travelled to Taipei to visit the shrine in order to find her long-last husband’s name in between that of his fellow serviceman. A reporter from China’s Haidu News heard about Zhang’s 77-year “reunion” with her husband and decided to cover the story. Because of Zhong’s enshrinement at the temple, Zhang explains she felt that she had “finally found her husband” and had found “where his sprit was.” She stayed in Taipei for seven days and visited the shrine three times before saying goodbye to her husband a final time.

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aaaaThe ‘spirit tablet’ or memorial plaquette at Taipei’s Martyr’s Shrine, displaying the name of Zhong Chongxin (4th from right, lower row). Top photos show Mrs. Zhang Shuying at the tablet.

The story, first reported by Haidu and then other Chinese media, quickly went viral. Thousands of netizens showed their sympathy for the old woman who had searched for her lost husband for 77 years. The popularity of this personal account coincides with the Nanjing memorial. December 14th of 2014 was the first time that China arranged its an official memorial dedicated to the Japanese invasion of Nanjing, now 77 years ago.

a716fd45jw1en64q8qz3pj20dw0gzgmb-1Zhong Chongxin at his graduation. 

 

– by Manya Koetse

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Local News

Children of Hubei Medical Workers to Receive 10 Extra Points on High School Enrolment Examination

Hubei officials announced a controversial measure to reward frontline medical workers.

Manya Koetse

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Image via xjdkctz.com.

First published

Hubei authorities announced new measures on Tuesday to encourage and support the work of Hubei’s front-line medical workers during the coronavirus crisis.

One of these measures, rewarding the children of medical staff an extra ten points in their zhongkao examination, became a somewhat controversial top trending topic on Chinese social media today.

The zhongkao is an important academic examination in China taken during the last year of junior high school, right before entering education institutions at the senior high school level. These enrollment examinations are held annually in June or July, depending on the region.

A good mark on the exam is of crucial importance for many students, as it will give them admission to their preferred senior high school, which then could have more profound effects on their education after high school and their further career.

According to the new policy, children of Hubei’s medical workers would be rewarded with ten extra points on top of their overall score for the exams if they take it. Since the exams are highly competitive, every extra point could mean a world of difference since it will mean leaving hundreds of other students behind you.

On Weibo, one announcement of the new measure published by Chinese news source The Paper received over 938.000 likes and more than 11.000 comments. Many Weibo users do not agree with the policy.

“It should be the medical workers themselves who are rewarded through promotion or a salary increase,” a top comment says: “It shouldn’t be their children who are rewarded.”

Although a majority of commenters say that medical workers should be given special rewards in these times of hardships, most also agree that rewarding their children in their exam results is not the way to go. “This only makes the exam system more unfair,” a recurring comment says.

With 610 million views at the time of writing, the hashtag “The kids of Hubei frontline medical staff will get extra 10 points on zhongkao score” (#湖北一线医务人员子女中考加10分#) is one of the most-dicussed topics on Weibo of the day.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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China Local News

Sudden Ground Collapse at Metro Station in Xiamen

A sudden collapse occurred near Xiamen’s Lucuo station, just two weeks after a similar incident took place in Guangzhou.

Manya Koetse

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First published

In the evening of December 12, Xiamen’s Lvcuo (Lǚcuò 吕厝) metro station became a breaking news topic in Chinese media after a ground collapse incident occurred at a nearby intersection, followed by a major flood in the Xiamen subway.

Xiamen, Fujian Province, is one of China’s major coastal cities. According to Xiamen Metro News, the collapse happened at 21:52 local time.

At time of writing, rescue teams are still investigating the scene. It is unclear if people have been trapped or injured due to the collapse.

An apparent dashcam video shared by Sina News and People’s Daily on Weibo shows the moment right before the sudden collapse.

The video captures how the road is relatively busy at the time of collapsing, and at least one car can be seen crashing into the sinkhole.

Other footage shows that the Xiamen metro line is currently flooded (also see video in this tweet).

The scene of the collapse at 0:10 local time.

The metro station where this incident occurred is relatively new. Xiamen’s metro line was first opened in late December 2017.

Just two weeks ago, another major ground collapse accident occurred at the construction site of a metro line in Guangzhou. Three people remain missing after the incident.

On Thursday night local time, the Xiamen metro collapse was the number one trending topic on social media platform Weibo. Many netizens commenting on the incident express worries about the safety of roads and construction sites in China.

Update (Dec 13): According to the latest Chinese media reports, the drivers of two cars who were at the scene at the moment of the ground collapse have both been recused. One female pedestrian who also fell into the sinkhole is receiving medical treatment..

By Manya Koetse
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©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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