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Child attains high post in school, becomes star

Updated: 2011-05-04 08:24

By Wang Huazhong and Wang Jingqiong (China Daily)

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Child attains high post in school, becomes star
Huang Yibo reads documents belonging to Wuhan city's young pioneers. He is shown in the headquarters of the Wuhan Young Pioneers in Hubei province in this undated photo. [Photo/China Daily]

BEIJING - Tucking his hands into his pants pockets, the steadfast looking 13-year-old Huang Yibo - better known as the deputy chief of all Wuhan city's young pioneers - poses like a professional politician for most photographs.

Part of the public's interest in him may stem from the apparent inconsistency between his official title and his age. But that is not the only thing that brought more than 1.2 million hits to the boy's blog on the popular website in recent days.

Also of interest is his zeal for politics. Local newspapers have reported that he ceased watching cartoons when he was 2 and instead tuned in to China Central Television's 7 pm news and that he began reading the People's Daily newspaper when he was 7.

Even more "commendable", according to netizens, is his white armband bearing five red strokes. Most Chinese adults never saw themselves or classmates in primary school get more than three strokes, which show the wearer to be a young pioneer leader in a school. Two strokes indicate the wearer is a monitor of a class and one stroke indicates he or she is the overseer of a small team.

In China, students at public primary schools are recruited as "young pioneers", meaning they are candidates for the Communist Youth League of China and have a chance of eventually becoming a member of the Communist Party of China.

Yu Lingzhi, a publicity official with the youth league committee in Wuhan, in Hubei province, confirmed to China Daily that Huang is the deputy chief of Wuhan city's young pioneers.

Yu said the five-stroke armband is an innovation that was adopted by the Wuhan committee a dozen years ago. He declined to say what Huang's responsibilities are.

"We are verifying information about Huang and may hold a press conference later," he said.

He said the boy's popularity has drawn interview requests from China Central Television, China Youth Daily and other State media.

According to the local Wuhan Evening News, Huang has won many prizes, include those given to "The Country's 100 Outstanding Juveniles" and "10 Filial Piety Stars of Wuhan".

In the introduction to his blog, Huang quoted an old saying to express his desires to pursue moral discipline, benefit mankind and bring stability to the country.

He also wrote that one of his goals is "to revive the Chinese nation and resume the heyday of the Han and Tang dynasties".

A local newspaper has published pictures of him posing to read official documents belonging to the young pioneers and bending down to talk to an elderly woman lying on a bed in a charity home.

His father said Huang is "modest and restrained but he isn't shy to show his ability to do certain things".

"He's just doing what he likes," his father told the newspaper.

Netizens have inundated the boy's blog with comments offering a mixture of praise, doubts, suggestions and satire. The name of the site - "Qiankun Ruxiu", Chinese for "the breadth of mind is as wide as heaven and earth" - has itself stirred up questions.

"I don't think this could have been the natural choice of a boy", Yang Hongshan, a public administration professor from Renmin University of China, told China Daily. "It must have to do with his parents and surroundings, which may have instilled in him a strong sense of the importance that society places on official position and rank."

Yang said it is necessary to teach children about politics and society, but taking it "to such an extent is abnormal and harmful."

"If Huang is as he is depicted in the news, and if his parents do not do some about it, his learning will be unbalanced and his personality rendered incomplete," Yang warned.

Sun Yunxiao, deputy director of China Youth and Children Research Center, said it is unfair to judge a child according to information reported by the media.

"I don't think it is appropriate for online strangers to make judgments, mostly negative, about a kid they do not even know," Sun said. "He needs protection now, not more comments."

Perhaps in response to the mounting pressure and the close scrutiny of netizens, pictures of the boy were deleted from his blog on Tuesday afternoon.


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