The local authorities in a village in Huilai county, in the east of Guangdong province, organized a remarkable anti-drug campaign earlier this week; a team of Huilai law enforcement was ordered to go out and spray the words “Drug-Related Crimes in Family” (涉毒家庭) on the houses or doors of households where one or members have faced drug-related charges.
According to Sina Guangdong (@新浪广东) on Weibo, at least ten houses in the county were marked as “Drug Households.”
The new anti-drugs campaign, that uses public shaming as a way to warn others not to use drugs, has caused some commotion on Weibo, where many people did not agree with the strategy.
A main argument against the strategy is that people find it unfair that the families of drug offenders are also shamed, saying it is a case of “lián zuò” (连坐), “to treat as guilty those associated with an offender.”
Others find the strategy itself crude and out-dated. “How is this different from the old society?” some wondered, with many netizens connecting this strategy to the movements of the 1960s and 1970s in China.
During the Cultural Revolution, it was common for people to be publicly shamed for their alleged crimes, sometimes by wearing derogatory signs around their necks.
“This is fighting evil with evil,” one among thousands of commenters noted, using the Chinese concept of yǐdú gōngdú (以毒攻毒), literally meaning “to use a drugs/poison to cure a drugs/poison.”
“I won’t even discuss whether this is reasonable or not – is it even legal?” another commenter wondered.
Some Chinese gangs also paint people’s doors or walls with red paint to threaten and intimidate them.
By now, local authorities have responded to the online commotion on the public shaming campaign.
According to People’s Daily, a staff member from the Anti-Drug Office in Huilai County has stated that people had “realized it [the spraying] was inappropriate,” and that the removal of the slogans had already begun by yesterday night.
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Exchange Student to Be Deported from China for Harassing Young Woman at University
An exchange student studying at the Hebei University of Engineering has been expelled and will soon be deported after harassing a female student.
An exchange student from Pakistan who was studying at the Hebei University of Engineering (河北工程大学) has been expelled and detained after harassing a female student at the same university.
The incident, that is attracting much attention on Chinese social media this week, adds to the wave of recent controversies over the behavior and status of overseas students in mainland China.
On July 31, a female student at the Hebei university filed a police report against a Pakistani student who allegedly harassed her and attempted to forcefully kiss her and touch her breasts.
Screenshots of a supposed WeChat conversation between the exchange student and the female student, in which the man apologizes and claims the interaction is a “requirement for friendship,” are being shared on social media.
According to various reports, the police initially tried to mediate between the two students, which the female student refused.
Together with the school principal, the police then further investigated the case and found ample evidence of harassment after examining the university’s surveillance system.
On August 1st, the Hebei University of Engineering announced that they had expelled the student and that he will be deported from China. The announcement received more than 14,000 reactions and 150,000 ‘likes’ on Weibo.
The student is now detained at the local Public Security Bureau and is awaiting his deportation.
A photo of two officers together with a man in front of the detention center in Handan is circulating on social media in relation to this incident.
At time of writing, the hashtag page “Exchange Student to Be Deported after Molesting Female Student” (#留学生猥亵女学生将被遣送出境#) has been viewed over 310 million times on Weibo.
Among thousands of reactions, there are many who praise the Hebei university for supporting the female student after she reported the exchange student to the police.
“This may not be the best university, but at least they stand behind their students!”, some say, with others calling the university “awesome.”
Many say that the Hebei university should serve as an example for other Chinese universities to follow, with Shandong University being specifically mentioned by Weibo users.
Shandong University was widely criticized earlier this summer for its “buddy exchange program,” which was accused of being a way to arrange Chinese “girlfriends” for male foreign students.
Another incident that is mentioned in relation to this trending story is that of an exchange student who displayed aggressive behavior towards a Chinese police officer in July of this year. The student was not punished for his actions, which sparked anger on Chinese social media.
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Holiday Homework: Take a Picture with Five Foreigners
Is “take a photo with a foreigner” an appropriate homework assignment? This Zhuhai school teacher thinks it is.
An elementary school in Guangdong’s Zhuhai city has become a target of online banter this week for a special holiday homework assignment given to its pupils.
The school’s English teacher told students to take a picture with five foreigners this holiday. The pupils’ parents were not too happy with this ‘homework’ and questioned its purpose and validity.
In the eyes of many netizens, the assignment is inappropriate as it supposedly teaches pupils to look up to (or ‘worship’) foreigners.
Others think the assignment is simply not practical, saying that Zhuhai does not have that many foreigners walking around and that not all foreigners speak English.
With over 110 million views on the hashtag “Holiday Homework to Take Photo with Five Foreigners” (#暑假作业与五个外国人合影#), the topic has blown up on Weibo.
“Just take a photo with the neighbor and tell them they’re from Singapore,” some people suggested: “Take some photos with Chinese people and say they were from South Korea!”
In an online poll about the issue, initiated by China Daily, nearly 65% of respondents said they did not agree with the assignment.
The school principal responded to the controversy, saying that the assignment was an “optional” one.
The class head also stated that the assignment was not obligatory, but that it was merely meant as an “encouragement” so that students could practice their conversational English by having a short conversation with a foreigner.
Many commenters side with school and condemn all the criticism and banter: “Of course an English teacher would want to tell its pupils to interact with foreigners in English!”
Another person mentions that many Chinese students have high grades in their English exams without actually being able to hold a conversation in English: “Our English education is not focused enough on speaking English.”
“This teaches students to take the initiative to start a conversation in English, what’s not good about it? You’re all too sensitive!”
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