Date
11 December 2017
In his letter, 9-year-old Niu Ziru (inset) tells President Xi Jinping to lose some weight. Photo: news.dahe.cn
In his letter, 9-year-old Niu Ziru (inset) tells President Xi Jinping to lose some weight. Photo: news.dahe.cn

China censors boy’s letter to Xi Jinping

A nine-year-old boy wrote a letter to President Xi Jinping suggesting, among other things, that he lose some weight.

The father read the boy’s composition, which was a writing assignment from school, and decided to put it online.

It went viral. Zhengzhou Evening News published a story about it, and it was picked up by many other news websites.

By Wednesday, all the stories vanished from the internet.

The reason: Censors at the National Network Information Office didn’t like the story and ordered it removed, Ming Pao Daily reported.

The young boy, identified as Niu Ziru, from Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, was supposed to write a composition on a given theme as a school assignment, but instead he decided to write a letter to the Chinese leader about how to develop the country’s space industry.

In the letter, which was never sent, Niu said China’s quest to send a manned mission to the moon may not be a good idea because the celestial body cannot sustain life.

Therefore, Niu said, the government should turn its attention to sending a man to Mars, which may be more hospitable to humans.

The United States and Russia — even the European Union and India — are all planning to send a manned mission to Mars, the boy said, adding that China should also hurry up.

Then, at the end of the letter, Niu changed the topic and addressed the Chinese leader as “Dada”, which means an older man.

He asked him to lose some pounds. “You don’t have to look as slim as US President Barack Obama, just like Russian President Vladimir Putin would be fine,” the boy said.

Niu apparently meant no disrespect, but his candid remarks might make the President and other people as well feel uncomfortable, the newpaper quoted a mainland expert as saying.

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TL/AC/CG

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