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China Youth & Education

Discussions on Weibo over 10-Year-Old Girl Attending School Event with Fever and IV Drip

Is this father doing the best or the worst for his daughter? Views are divided on Weibo.

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On May 4th, Chinese reporters captured how a sick 10-year-old girl attended a Hengshui High School Open Day event while hooked to an IV. The video report went viral on Chinese social media, triggering discussions on the parental pressure faced by children to succeed in school.

A 10-year-old girl from Hengshui, Hebei, has attracted the attention on Chinese social media after reporters interviewed her while visiting an Open Day of a local school. The girl was ill and hooked up to an intravenous drip.

On May 4th, the Hengshui High School had its annual Open Day and information event when reporters captured the girl walking together with her father, who was holding her IV drip.

The father told Pear Video that his daughter had a fever of 38 to 39 degrees for four consecutive days, for which she had an IV, but that they still wanted to visit the Open Day to “take in the atmosphere,” saying it is the girl’s “dream” to get admitted to the school.

The man further said that he himself is “uncultured,” but that he hopes his daughter would be an educated person, and that she will “definitely pass” the school’s entrance exams.

With over 14 million views, the hashtag “Girl with IV Drip Visits Hengshui Middle School” (#女童边输液边参观衡水中学#) became one of the top trending topics of the day on Weibo.

Many commenters condemn the father for pressuring his daughter to succeed in school and for not prioritizing her health. “At the age of ten, there’s still some years before middle school – it’s not something to be concerned over at this point,” some say, with others calling the father’s attitude “scary” and “horrible.”

There are those netizens who blame the father for letting his child make up for his own “uncultured” status.

Hengshui High School is a prestigious high school in Hebei Province that was established in 1951, and that is known for its strict regulations and harsh study schemes.

Academic Stress Starts Early

China’s educational system has nine years of compulsory education, starting at the age of six. After elementary school and junior high, the majority of children continue studying at a vocational school or (senior) high school, for which they will have to take an entrance exam during their last year in junior high.

The gaokao (literally: ‘higher exams’) are generally regarded the most important moment in a student’s life. They are a prerequisite for entering China’s higher education institutions and are usually taken by students in their last year of senior high school. Scoring high grades for this exam can give high school students access to a better college, which enlarges their chances of obtaining a good job after graduation, and are therefore seen as life-changing.

All the schools leading up to the gaokao, from elementary to high school, could potentially give children an academic advantage. Attending the best schools from an early age is a strategic move on the road to educational success. This also means that children as young as ten could already face much pressure to succeed.

In 2017, the suicide of a 10-year-old girl from Jiangsu province made headlines in China. The young girl stated in her farewell message that she wanted to go to heaven because she was “not doing well in school.”

In November of 2014, the suicide of a 10-year-old boy from Guangzhou after his mid-term exams also shocked netizens. The boy, who received just 39 points for an English exam, hung himself after writing about his low grade in his diary. A year prior, in 2013, another 10-year-old committed suicide by jumping from a building after being scolded by a teacher after failing to complete an assignment.

Rising out of Poverty through Education?

Despite all the commenters on Weibo who condemn the 10-year-old’s father for taking his sick daughter to an Open Day, there also many who jump to his defense.

“What other way to change your poor lower class status than by studying hard?” one person writes: “Our college entrance examination system is really fair (..) As a poor child, you can continue to work hard, and one day, you will stand out from the crowd for it.”

“Every time I see news like this it makes me feel bad, but I can also understand,” others say.

It is not known if the girl and her parents indeed come from a poor family, nor have their names been disclosed.

“I sympathize with this dad,” another Weibo user writes: “He doesn’t know what it is to study, but he’d do anything to make his kid [study]. I went through the same thing as a kid. Due to chronic tonsillitis, I’d run a fever three times a month (..) but you can’t make your illness stop you from studying. I can only say that our generation will rise and make sure the next generation will grow up happier.”

Many commenters contradict those who condemn the father, saying he is just doing what he thinks is best for his child: “It is clear that he really loves her.”

But the polarized views on this issue still stand, with some writing: “What scares me the most is all these people who think the father is right.”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

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

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Insight

Chinese Students in Ukraine Say Anti-Chinese Sentiments on the Rise due to “Fake News”

Although the embassy first advised Chinese citizens in Ukraine to show a Chinese flag, they now suggest it is better to be careful in displaying their nationality.

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Chinese citizens in Kyiv say they are affected by rising anti-Chinese sentiments among Ukrainians who believe that China supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On February 24, shortly after news broke out that Russia had invaded Ukraine, the Chinese embassy issued a notice to Chinese citizens in Ukraine to place a clearly visible Chinese flag on their car if they planned to travel by car.

The idea that Chinese citizens in Ukraine should clearly identify themselves as Chinese as a safety precaution was further propagated by the Chinese state media outlet People’s Daily (in image below).

On February 25,however, the Chinese embassy seemingly changed its tune, as they posted on WeChat reminding Chinese citizens in Ukraine to be careful to reveal their identity. A hashtag page dedicated to the topic received over 820 million views on Weibo on Saturday (#在乌中国公民不要随意亮明身份#).

The sudden switch caused unrest and confusion on Weibo, where many wondered why the embassy initially seemed to suggest that the Chinese flag would offer a certain sense of security and why this apparently has changed.

 

“For the sake of your own conscience, for the sake of our compatriots in Ukraine, please mind what you say.”

 

Chinese state media outlets Global Times and People’s Daily published an interview with Chinese students living in Ukraine on Saturday. The article suggests that Chinese students in Kyev are affected by rising anti-Chinese sentiments among Ukrainians who believe that China supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The article claims that various Ukrainian media outlets and social media channels are spreading “fake news” about China backing Russia, leading to an increase in threats and insults directed at local Chinese citizens. One female Chinese student studying in Kyiv also shared a video of the local situation on Friday for state media outlet CGTN, saying she was also threatened (#中国在乌留学生遭恐吓跟踪#).

On February 26th, the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine issued another message urging Chinese citizens to maintain friendly relations with the Ukrainian people and to avoid disputes over “specific issues.” Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy is reportedly putting an evacuation plan into action for Chinese citizens in Kyiv and elsewhere in Ukraine.

The hashtag “Chinese Students Claim Some Ukrainian Media Are Spreading Fake News” (#中国留学生称部分乌媒正散布假消息#) had nearly 200 million views on Weibo on Saturday, with thousands of people commenting on the issue.

Most people express worry about the situation of the Chinese students and other Chinese citizens who are still in Ukraine. Some say that regardless of whether the news in Ukraine about China is false or not, nobody wants to be in a war and it is not right for common people to have to take the blame.

There are also people condemning Ukrainians, saying “China is neutral on the Russia-Ukraine conflict” and that this is just used as another excuse to discriminate against Chinese, claiming that Ukraine “has always been anti-Chinese” and “also supports Hong Kong independence.”

On Friday’s United Nations Security Council resolution, which condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called on Moscow to withdraw its troops, eleven member countries voted in favor of the resolution while China, together with India and the United Arab Emirates, abstained.

Many on social media stressed China’s neutrality and the image below was also shared on Weibo, writing: “Chinese ≠ Putin’s ally.”

Others point out that it is perhaps no surprise for Ukrainians to get angry when in fact many Chinese people on social media express that they actually do support the Russian invasion. There are also commenters who emphasize that Chinese netizens should be more careful when expressing their thoughts on the situation since their stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine could influence the safety of those Chinese who are still there.

One popular blogging account wrote:

When society is in disorder, people go crazy. When facing a national disaster, the slightest whiff of trouble can trigger an explosion. No one wants to experience war, and no one wants their suffering to be ridiculed. Ukraine has already given guns to civilians, and at a moment that’s about life and death, it’s hard to say if people might go too far. They can’t come to China but they can target overseas Chinese in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have to solve their conflict themselves, we don’t get mixed up in this. For the sake of your own conscience, for the sake of our compatriots in Ukraine, please mind what you say.

On Saturday, one Chinese student studying in Kyiv shared videos from inside a bomb shelter, showing another perspective; the Chinese student could be seen interacting with Ukrainian children and cheering them up (hashtags #中国留学生镜头下的乌克兰防空洞# and #留学生镜头里的乌克兰#). The videos, shared online by various state media outlets, did not show tensions between Chinese and Ukrainian but people offering each other a sense of comfort at a time of crisis.

“The people are innocent,” a typical comment said: “But they are the ones who end up being hurt the most.”

By Manya Koetse

Featured image: https://weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309404741232139305405

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China and Covid19

Tianjin Students Find All Their Belongings Thrown Out After Dorm Turns Into Covid19 Quarantine Site

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Tianjin students expressed anger and disbelief online after their school dormitories became local Covid19 quarantine sites and their belonging were tossed out.

Since earlier this month, Tianjin has been fighting a Covid outbreak. On January 9, the city of 14 million residents started citywide nucleic acid testing after twenty people tested positive for Covid19, including at least two Omicron infections. The city, facing the country’s first Omicron outbreak, then entered a partial lockdown.

In the January 8-January 16 period, Tianjin registered a total of 294 new cases, with an additional 18 cases being reported on Monday.

One of the important measures in China’s battle against Covid19 is the preventive quarantine in centralized locations of nearby or close contacts of Covid19 cases. In Tianjin, these ‘close contacts’ are mainly located in Jinnan district, where 94 percent of the city’s reported cases were detected. The city has numerous quarantine locations scattered throughout the city.

Recently, students of various schools in Tianjin, including the Tianjin College of the University of Science & Technology Beijing (北京科技大学天津学院) and the Pearl River College at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics (天津财经大学珠江学院), were notified that their dorm buildings would temporarily be used as local quarantine sites. The two schools are located very near to each other in Jingjin New Town, located in Baodi District, approximately 45 km from Tianjin.

Although many students said that they were fine with their dorms being used as quarantine sites while they were away – the winter school holiday ends on February 21st -, they were shocked and furious to discover their belongings were thrown out in trash bags.

Videos and photos of staff emptying out the dorm rooms and throwing personal belongings out of the windows triggered controversy on social media on January 18: “For what reason was our stuff dealt with this way? Is this what they meant when they promised us they would keep our belongings safe?”

“It’s not unreasonable for the dorms to be used in this way in times of epidemic,” one commenter wrote: “But at the very minimum there should be a basic understanding that students’ personal belonging can’t just be thrown away?!”

“What kind of university can’t even keep its students’ property safe?” others wondered, with one female student writing: “We support our dorms being used as quarantine locations, but why do you completely disregard our property, our personal rights, our right to know, etc.? If you had properly taken care of our belongings, we wouldn’t even have said anything! We already lowered our bottom line! We’ve already made concessions from the moment you pried open our locks! Look at your staff, they’re playing dumb. You haven’t even given us a rational explanation.”

Another angry student writes: “When people asked me where I studied, I already felt reluctant to say [Pearl River College at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics], and I’d just tell them I study in Baodi District. Now I definitely don’t want to tell people where I study anymore. Pearl River College, you are heartless!”

On Weibo, students complain that their clothes, shoes, makeup, computers, and other property have allegedly been taken away and thrown outside in bags by the people preparing the dorm location. At the time of writing, it is still unclear where the students’ belongings currently are and whether or not the school will compensate those affected for the items that might be damaged or lost.

Many others on social media also sympathize with the students, saying the epidemic cannot be used as an excuse for staff to treat personal belongings in such a disrespectful way.

Update January 19:

The Pearl River College has issued an apology to its students on January 19, suggesting that the process of emptying and cleaning the premises needed to be done in a hurry, leading to students’ belongings not being handled as they should have been handled.

Many students expressed that they did not appreciate the apology: “What’s the point of this apology? What about the things we spent our money on? You need to be realistic and give compensation.”

Meanwhile, the Tianjin College of the University of Science & Technology still has not responded to the online commotion. Some students do not seem to care about an apology: “I just want to know where my things are.”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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