Date
18 August 2017
Liu Yiting (top left), Ma Nan (right) and Huang Silu (bottom left) had been hailed as "role model students" by Chinese state media, but all of them later voted with their feet by marrying Americans. Photos: Baidu
Liu Yiting (top left), Ma Nan (right) and Huang Silu (bottom left) had been hailed as "role model students" by Chinese state media, but all of them later voted with their feet by marrying Americans. Photos: Baidu

Patriots and losers: Why pinning labels in China is a mug’s game

A Chinese blogger has pointed out sarcastically that three girls who were once portrayed by China Central Television (CCTV) as the “country’s role model students” have all married Americans and obtained US residency. 

Ma Nan, a Peking University student who once openly declared that the human rights situation in China was at least five times better than that of the US, is now a US Green Card holder, according to the blog post on ifeng.com.

She married an American who was living in China and subsequently moved to the US, Mingpao Daily News cited blogger Wang Guicheng as saying in his article.

Once hailed as an anti-US icon by the Chinese state media, Ma has apparently voted with her feet, signaling her true feelings about her country.

The same was the case with Liu Yiting and Huang Silu, who made guest appearances as “student icons” in a CCTV program back in 2000.

During the TV program, Liu was highly praised for her outstanding academic results and for gaining admission to Harvard University. Liu made it clear that she would repay her debt to China in the future. However, what happened later was that she married a white American and secured US residency.

She is now said to be working as vice president of a financial fund, looking after the Greater China market.

As for Huang Silu, she had been on the cover of many magazines related to secondary and tertiary open examinations in China and was regarded as an exemplary student. She was full of praise for China’s education system, but had apparently changed her mind later.

After graduating from Peking University, Huang completed a Master’s degree at the University of Columbia in arts management and married an American.

On the flip side, a person named Han Han, who was once viewed as a “black student” for “betraying” China’s educational system and dropping out of school halfway, has now emerged as one of the most influential figures in public knowledge in China. Han was named the world’s most influential 100 people in 2010 by the Time Magazine.

The iFeng.com article went on to say that the so-called good students such as Ma, Liu and Huang were never genuine “patriots” and they can be regarded as casualties for the modern Chinese educational system.

On the contrary, the students who were being looked down by the system have now developed into elites with independent thinking and the ability to question the status quo, while also having aspirations and a character respected by many. Such people, according to the author, are the real propeller of the Chinese race.

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