19 April 2008

Looking at the next generation's moral education through Wang Qianyan

This article was referenced on danwei.org first. I have decided to do a translation.

Please note that there's a notice on the bottom of the original article warning against cross-posts. As I don't really know how to contact them to notify them that I have done a translation, I have decided to go ahead and post it for the edification of those people who cannot read Chinese.

As always, I am not making any money off of this blog. My opinions are not those of the original authors'.

Other slight disclaimer, which I should have brought up in my last post: I have a slight acquaintance with the girl in question.


This article (op-ed) was taken from Sohu.com at http://baobao.sohu.com/20080417/n256324780.shtml

Wang Qianyuan – Qingdao No. 2 High School graduate, publicly supports Tibetan separatists in American (inserted photo not included)

At the same time that the Olympic torch relay was successfully completed in San Francisco, Chinese students studying in America also gave the Beijing Olympics their warmest support. However, during an anti-Tibetan separatist demonstration of Chinese students at Duke University today, W, a graduate of the Qingdao No 2 High School, disregarded reality and sided with the Tibetans. She raised the matters of human rights in Tibetans and took up the slogan of ‘free tibet’, and the few hundred international students at the scene witnessed her shameless, terrible behavior. She lost a lot of face for the Chinese people! W – if we can forgive the Americans for not knowing any better, what about you? The Chinese people are forever ashamed of the things out of your treacherous mouth!

In this economically developing society, many people both in the east tand west habitually use economics to judge something, or someone.

Many parents have tried very hard to educate the next generation, but they have neglected to train the moral character of their children due to their overemphasis on their children’s academic abilities. From this matter with W, we can see that a child’s moral education is an indispensable part of growing up.

Remember when we were young, the first grade of elementary school had a class called: Moral and Character Education*. We had to pass the class in order to go on to the next grade, or else we were retained. The first lesson in Language Arts class is about Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The first two characters we learn are Zhong Guo, China. But now that the Moral and Character Education class has been set aside, current events have proven that this is unacceptable.

A’useful’** person must first be a moral, virtuous person. What good is all the knowledge in the world if he isn’t moral? Wouldn’t he act as a traitor to the Han, exactly like W. Our motherland raised her up, developed her talents, and now she stabs it in the back! A ‘genius’ like her is one that did not succeed to learn moral behavior or have any integrity. She grew up overdosing on the emphasis to succeed on academics alone. She is like a robot who can’t tell right from wrong. Whomever can control her, command her to think whatever. Her lack of autonomy is why she has acted against us.

There is an old Chinese saying, “One must be a good person before he can accomplish great things” ***. How can someone think of doing before he has learned how to be a good person. The next generation represents the future of China, our children have the responsibility of further building up and protecting our country. This next generation doesn’t just need cultural knowledge, more importantly we must cultivate in them the correct worldview. This sort of education must begin when children are young and no time cannot be lost in their teaching. It will be near to impossible to change their views if we leave off this education until after their thinking has set.

Parents and educators in today’s education put too much importance on the knowledge, neglecting to cultivate our children’s morals. This is incorrect. Knowledge adds to our intelligence, but only moral and character education can make an intelligent person become truly educated****. W is not an idiot, we can count her as an intelligent person. However, she has chosen the wrong path because her intelligence has had received the right guidance in shaping her thinking. This is a classic case of when moral and character education has failed.

From this case, we can see that we cannot neglect a child’s moral and character education. We must teach them to be morally-upright, to have a compassionate heart, to be able to tell right from wrong. We cannot continue to rely on an education that only pours knowledge into a person and neglect the thought maturity of the child. W’s betrayal has sounded a warning for the education of the Chinese people; she has reminded us that we must continue to teach a child to be moral even as they learn facts. Only a child who has both kinds of training can become a truly great and useful person.


‘de’ is untranslatable in a literal form. It has no true word to word correspondence. For more debate on ‘de’, read Confucius and other Chinese classics in some order.

Sixiang daode pinzhi – literally, the quality of thought, character, and morality. I’ve translated it as Moral and Character education. Again, one of those untranslatable references.

*sixiang pinde – literally translated, the Moral Character and Integrity of Thought
**youyong – literally useful, possibly talented??
***zuo shi xian zuo ren, literally one must first be a person before he can do things
****gao shang – can be translated as high class or…possibly elegant?

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17 April 2008

Respectfully Warning the Parents of Wang Qianyuan

(edited slightly ten minutes later to fix some tense issues, also inserted a clarification to statement re: remorse)

(edited at 6 PM to retranslate a metaphor that was completely wrong - see second paragraph for revised version)

My apologies for any serious errors contained herein. I did this translation in a very short time and is only meant to give an idea of some of the discussion that's been going on in the Chinese-language sphere. I will post more as time permits.

As always, none of the opinions posted are my own. I selected this article as it was one of the top ten Google results in Mandarin Chinese.


Retrieved from http://cache.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/free/1/1190287.shtml
Accessed 16 April 2008

Wang claims on television that "many Chinese have the same opinion as she does"; from this, we can see that at least her parents and her treasonous philosophy have something: they on some level approved of her treasonous behavior!

Using your behavior to teach others doesn't require any special educational background. China is a society that has always advocated the tradition of honoring and loving one's country. It is very rare to see this sort of shameless, faceless behavior! Was she sent from the heavens, meant to sell out her country as soon as she set foot on this earth? Of course not, she is the result of the educational efforts of her family over this many years.

"Democracy" is not a reason to betray your country; in her youth, she has taken this as an excuse for her rebellion. She is a young and naïve girl who has turned against country after imbibing the "democratic philosophy" endorsed at Duke University. For such a girl, who wants to leave the ranks of her Asian brethren for Europe, this is the result of her familial upbringing!

We do not endorse linking her actions with that of her family, nor do we endorse using any sort of violent methods to attack her or her parents. But we do support finding ways to communicate with the parents of this girl***. We hope that they can convince their treasure to stop using such separatist language as justification, to rejoin the ranks of her compatriots against an insignificant group of clowns, and to stop interfering with the righteous behavior of the Chinese people. Do not assume that a majority of the Chinese people side with her because of such ridiculous excuses!
She is at the precipice, but there is still time. I hope that her parents can convince her to see reason and rejoin us. Do not let your precious treasure languish in exile, by then, showing remorse will not be enough to bring forgiveness.

We ask that she account for her actions sincerely and truthfully with our patriotic youth as well as with the rest of the Chinese people.

*** Wang ni Qianyuan, a pun on her name, which means "Wang who goes against her thousand roots"

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