Chinese child prodigy or dictator-to-be? 12-year-old boy draws national attention
Imagine a Chinese counterpart of Jonathan Krohn, who then as a 14-year-old wrote a book to define conservatism and addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2009 was highlighted by media as a political wunderkind.
This Chinese boy began to watch Xinwen Lianbo (prime time news on China Central Television) at the age of 2. He has been reading People’s Daily and Reference News (Cankao XiaoXi, 参考消息) every day since 7. Until today, he has published over 100 articles on influential Chinese newspapers.
Huang Yibo, a 6th grader at a boarding school affiliated with Central China Normal University, has received much more honors and awards than even most adults. “National Top 100 Good Youths,” “Top Ten Filial Sons of Wuhan City,” Arch leader of Young Pioneers of the city of Wuhan…These titles have made Huang a poster child.
His parents boast of his insights into history and politics. “His attention to the people’s life has far exceeded ours. His dream is to let every one live a better life,” said Huang Hongzhang, the father.
“He surfs the internet only for current affairs and news events at home and broad. He never plays any (online) game,” Huang Hongzhang said.
In one MiniTofu article about hierarchy and power worship in Chinese elementary schools, we illustrated the student cadre system with one picture: a student’s status within the system is reflected on the badge s/he wears, if any. The more bars on the badge, the higher ranking he has. Typically the top-level student cadres wears three-bar badge.
However, Huang Yibo, an exemplar of school children, wears a whopping five-bar badge, which most Chinese pupils as well as adults who were brought up in the system never heard of before.
Nevertheless, when virtues and talents of Huang Yibo were first published in Wuhan Evening Post, the writer who intended to praise Huang as a wonder boy – judging by the fact that she only quoted the proud parents who gushed over their good parenting and at the end in the commentary encourage other parents to draw inspiration from the model family, probably did not expect so many readers as well as net users who fervently shared the news story to find the idea so repulsive.
Xinwen Lianbo, or CCTV news in general, is admittedly a propaganda mill, and People’s Daily is notorious for skewing public opinion and dancing to the tune of ruling party and the regime. Therefore, most net users, instead of appreciating Huang’s talents, sniff at the boy’s bureaucratic manner and fear that the politically correct fair-haired child may become China’s president in the future, dimming the hope for a free and democratic country. (Read how Chinese netizens mock Xinwen Lianbo’s banal news narrative.)
The curious internet mob has found Huang’s blog, and reprinted his pictures in which he wears the 5-bar badge and either gives directive to his fellow classmates or poses like a leader. Many mocked that Huang looks exactly like a party boss. Others are sympathetic with the child who becomes a victim and pawn of the system and has relinquished the fun of being a child.
Selected comments from Sina Microblog
白色独角仙 That manner looks like the 70-year-old Grandpa Chairman (referring to Chinese president Hu Jintao)…
逼婚是不道德的 This is the stuff a child who is bent on caring about “the people’s life” wrote? As one of “the people” whose “life” is watched by him, I have got goose bumps.
刘睦宁 At 7 he didn’t play game and only read People’s Daily? Is People’s Daily more tempting, or a game is more tempting? Or neither one is, but wielding power is more tempting?…For the sake of this child, I would rather be a pushing hand behind the Internet.
被河蟹掉的A君 One Osama Bin Laden is dead. Thousands and millions more Osama Bin Laden are rising…
文刂冈刂 Others’ wunderkind is capable of writing a software program or solving an equation. Our wunderkind is capable of watching Xinwen Lianbo…
玉儿_小美 Hehe, he has a government official’s look. See the gesture? A standard leader’s manner. What a boy!!
暗夜铃音 Don’t you think it is actually very sad? The child has lost more than what he has gained.
李木木天涯 I have to say such a way of education is really sad. The confidence the child’s face exudes has more or less a tint of folly. He lacks innocence and joy of childhood. He may feel sorry years later. Of course he is not to blame. Parents have played a key role. Fame is indeed not necessarily a good thing. Every one should give him some room for breathing. After all, he is so young.
fancy洁爱谢霆锋 How can he have so many bars on his shoulder? We had at most three bars, which is for big team leaders (School-level student cadre). So this one is big big big team leader?
foxriver99 Is it driven by his personal interest or something has gone wrong with the education system? This red-hot 5-bar child, should he really be called a genius?
灰姑娘仙都丽娜 I for the umpteenth time noticed this kid. He needs a re-instilment of values and professional psychiatric counseling.
馨馨凝 Even he has gone a little berserk, it is not hard to understand. In today’s soil filled with poisons, it is very normal that a few twisted fruits are yielded. Sometimes parents are also victims.