Adult Chi­nese men dat­ing pre­teen girls is rep­re­hen­si­ble

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - By Huang Lan­lan

Last month, 29-year-old singer Zhang Muyi pub­licly an­nounced on Sina Weibo his mar­riage to 17-year-old Miki Akama, at­tach­ing a photo of the school­girl try­ing on wed­ding dress. Need­less to say, their nup­tials caused a stir on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia.

Akama is an as­pir­ing singer and model of Cana­dian na­tion­al­ity. Grow­ing up in China, she met her pri­vate mu­sic teacher, Zhang, at the ten­der age of 8. Within four years they were of­fi­cially dat­ing.

Al­legedly, Akama’s par­ents (one is Ja­panese and the other is halfChi­nese half-Ger­man) were too busy to look af­ter their own daugh­ter, so they did not mind that Zhang had taken her un­der his wing.

Even though a num­ber of ne­ti­zens and me­dia ar­ti­cles have come out in full sup­port of their “touch­ing ro­mance” and “true love,” I do not be­lieve this is a healthy re­la­tion­ship.

At age 8, stu­dent Akama prob­a­bly did not un­der­stand her feel­ings for Zhang, which were prob­a­bly more like idol wor­ship or in­no­cent af­fec­tion that any im­pres­sion­able child would have for a con­fi­dent adult.

At age 20, teacher Zhang surely was aware of his own sex­ual at­trac­tions to­ward chil­dren.

While most of her peers were only be­gin­ning to learn about their de­vel­op­ing bod­ies, poor Akama was al­ready locked into a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with Zhang. Their pre­vi­ous Weibo posts im­plied that Akama lived with him those years.

A healthy ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship is based on mu­tual love and re­spect. But Zhang seems to pre­fer to be able to con­trol this un­der­age girl in an un­healthy com­bi­na­tion of pos­ses­sion and pe­dophilia.

Pe­dophilia – when adults have sex­ual de­sires for pre­pubescent chil­dren – is con­sid­ered a psy­chi­atric dis­or­der in China. In 2016, a 6-year-old girl in South­west China’s Sichuan Prov­ince was sex­u­ally as­saulted by her un­cle ev­ery week for more than a year while her par­ents were work­ing far­away, Knews re­ported in 2016. The girl’s di­ag­nos­tic re­port in­di­cated that her vagina and anus had been torn and in­fected.

A sim­i­lar case took place in Guangzhou, cap­i­tal of South­east China’s Guang­dong Prov­ince. A 9-year-old girl was sex­u­ally abused by a male neigh­bor for three years be­fore her mother found stains on her panties and later sent her to a hos­pi­tal, Guangzhou Daily re­ported in 2014. The poor girl was di­ag­nosed with a rup­tured hy­men, pelvic in­flam­ma­tion and col­pi­tis. “He touched me with his ‘pee­ing thing,’” she told her mother.

Child sex­ual abuse in China is more fre­quent and se­ri­ous than many think. Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from Girls’ Pro­tect­ing, an or­ga­ni­za­tion af­fil­i­ated to China Foun­da­tion of Cul­ture and Arts for Chil­dren, 378 cases of chil­dren un­der 14 be­ing sex­u­ally as­saulted were re­ported by do­mes­tic me­dia in 2017, in­volv­ing 606 vic­tims. “And these pub­li­cized cases were only the tip of the

ice­berg,” says a Girls’ Pro­tect­ing re­port. Though the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Zhang and Akama went un­pun­ished for in­ex­pli­ca­ble rea­sons, the fact that it has been so glam­or­ized may in­spire other pre­teen girls to seek out re­la­tion­ships with old men. Or worse, it will cause some old men to pur­sue un­der­age girls with­out fear of any le­gal con­se­quences. As one ne­ti­zen com­mented, “Zhang and Akama’s story is so ro­man­tic! I de­cided to learn from Zhang and go to a nearby kinder­garten, watch­ing the lit­tle girls there and pick­ing one as my fu­ture girl­friend.” He might have been sar­cas­tic, but his words still gave me goose­bumps, be­cause I’m sure many pe­dophiles do ex­actly that. On April 9, five days af­ter Zhang and Akama an­nounced their mar­riage, Sina Weibo banned both of their ac­counts. “Zhang’s be­hav­ior hyp­ing his mar­riage with an un­der­age girl not only breaks the law but also goes against ba­sic so­cial morals,” Sina Weibo stated. I have no idea what Akama’s par­ents think about their mar­riage, as they have not given any re­sponse to the pub­lic. Some ne­ti­zens be­lieve they were paid off by wealthy Zhang. But if I were a mother of an 8-yearold girl who found an adult man in bed with her, I might kick him be­tween his legs with­out any hesitation.

The opin­ions ex­pressed in this ar­ti­cle are the au­thor’s own and do not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect the views of the Global Times.

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