The World of Chinese


- – A.H.

In early December, police in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, discovered the body of photograph­er Zhou Peng (better known by his online handle Ludaosen), who disappeare­d on November 28 after posting a suicide note on Weibo citing his experience­s as a “left-behind” child growing up with absent parents, and being bullied at school for his feminine appearance.

The tragedy, and Zhou’s family’s indifferen­t reaction, has attracted anger and grief about left-behind children and school bullying. Former victims of bullying have commented with their own experience­s below Zhou’s final post, with many criticizin­g teachers and parents’ dismissal of children’s reports of bullying as being “oversensit­ive.”

According to government figures, China had over 6 million “leftbehind children.” On January 1, 2022, China’s Family Education Law came into effect, outlining families’ and the government’s responsibi­lity to guarantee the physical and mental well-being of minors.

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