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Schoolgirl from Rural China Writes to Queen Elizabeth, Gets Letter Back

A schoolgirl from a small city in the south of China wrote a letter to the Queen of England asking her to visit her town. Much to her surprise, the girl got a letter back.

Manya Koetse

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A schoolgirl from a city in the south of China wrote a letter to the Queen of England asking her to visit her town. Much to her surprise, the girl got a letter back.

A middle-school student from the South of China named Siwen Ma recently sent a letter to the Queen of England, asking her to come and visit her hometown.

Siwen Ma (马思雯) is from a prefecture-level city named Zhaotong (昭通) in Yunnan, southwestern China. It is known as one of the poorest places of the province. The area became well-known when it was struck by an earthquake in 2014.

According to Chuncheng Evening News, Siwen wrote the letter because she read a lot about the Queen, and she wanted to practice her English. In her letter, she welcomed the Queen to come to Zhaotong, and congratulated her to have become England’s longest serving monarch in history.

Much to her surprise, the schoolgirl got an answer back from the Royal Palace. According to Chuncheng Evening News, the letter was signed by the Queen herself. Although this is not accurate, it is somewhat close; it was personally signed by Queen Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting.

The letter says:

“Dear Siwen,
The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your letter in which you tell Her Majesty a little about yourself and where you live.
Although unable to reply to you personally, the Queen was interested to hear of your hometown of Zhaotong City in Yunnan Province and I am to thank you, once again, for your thoughtfulness in writing as you did.”

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Siwen told the local newspaper: “Actually, foreign affairs are not far away from us. From the big diplomatic and foreign affairs point of view, everyone actually is an ambassador to the place or country they come from.”

The topic is posted to Sina Weibo under the hashtag of “The English Queen replies to Yunnan Schoolgirl” (#英女王回信云南女生#).

Most netizens respond to the fact that the media falsely state the letter was personally signed by the Queen herself (“Do you read English at all?!”), and others react in amazement that the Queen actually has someone who writes letters for her: “Just like Santa Claus,” one netizen says.

Amongst the reactions are also those from fellow Zhaotong residents, who seem to be proud that their city is mentioned by the Royal Palace.

“Why don’t we try to write the Big Leader [Xi Jinping] a letter,” one netizen says: “And see what happens then?”

By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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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
Follow @whatsonweibo

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.

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

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