Adult Chinese men dating preteen girls is reprehensible
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.