When the story of a 14-year-old Chinese boy living on 10 yuan (US$1.60) a week was reported in May, it touched many.
Yang Liujin, who was forced to fend for himself from age six when his mother remarried and left after his father died, had lived on the measly allowance from an older cousin and had taken to picking wild herbs and fishing in a river to feed himself.
When his story was broadcast by a local television station in China’s autonomous Guangxi region, it caught the attention of two people from Cambridge International School in Shenzhen. They decided to get his elder’s cousin’s consent to take the boy back to Shenzhen where he found a new home and a new school.
Yang also gained quite a few supporters outside his foster home. That was scarcely six months ago.
Far from being a tale with a happy ending, the story took a bizarre turn when some of the boy’s relatives, along with some local officials, visited his school on Friday. They wanted to take the boy back, Southern Metropolis reported Tuesday.
Reason: Hundreds of thousands of yuan in donations had come in for the boy and his relatives and some local officials wanted him home in Guangxi while things are sorted out.
Yang likely has no idea what’s going on and is probably the last person to have a say in the matter.
But money talks.
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