11-year-old reporters put the adults to shame

Zhang Jiahe, 11-year-old reporter from Chinese Teenager News, raises his hand at the press center of the 18th CPC National Congress. Photo: news.xiancn.com

Two 11-year-old reporters, both Year 6 students from Chinese Teenager News were amongst the many adults reporting the 18th CPC National Congress. They were referred to as “a brief moment of excitement” by the Wall Street Journal. Their sharp questions on Tuesday’s group interview held by the CPC press center were one of the highlights of the day.

Zhang Jiahe was given a special one-on-one interview by Jiang Weixin, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development about the high housing price which, according to him, made some of his classmates suffer because their parents cannot afford to buy them toys. Jiang’s answer was, “I hope young people like you could focus on your studies. The problem of high housing price will be solved one day.”

Sun Luyuan’s question was about food safety. She said she dared not eat snacks now because of many news reports about the safety issue. Her question was quite straight-forward, “How it is possible that these foods are allowed to be sold? How can we eat and feel safe?” Yuan Guiren, the Chinese Education Minister gave an anodyne answer, “We will continue to improve the situation to ensure the safety of students.” He then continues, “Apart from food, two other important things for students are sleep and exercise. We will further improve our watch of the physical health of children and release information about their physical condition.”

The good-for-nothing answers aside, the two questions, which should have been asked by the adults, were posed to the officials by two children. What does it say about our society now? The Beijing News Opinion posted on its Weibo Wednesday, asking “when can our children be free from worrying about the adults’ business?”

The Weibo post, surprisingly, did not attract the attention it should have while people were focusing on trivial pop news such as the marriage of a candidate from the popular reality talent show The Voice. Some of the responses it did get are rather scathing .

@ chevin19830925: The Chinese has always been like this, not doing what you are supposed to do. The officials don’t do their job and the children don’t focus on their study. It’s a society deviating from its right path, a society without faith…

@ Also Squinting: What the adults can’t deal with, we leave it to the children. What the children can’t deal with, I’m afraid we can only leave it to the dead.

@ Shepherd boy’s short flute smile: Like the business owner in the film 1942 said: Next life, don’t be born here.

@ happy apple cook fish: Even the children are worried, how unsafe is our food?

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