Sat, Sep 08, 2018 - Page 9 News List

Students target inequality in China

Young rights advocates in China have spoken about the self-interest and materialism they say is prevalent among students at elite universities, but they would rather address growing inequality and other social concerns

By Sue-Lin Wong and Christian Shepherd  /  Reuters, HUIZHOU, China

Yue, who had been in regular contact with reporters about the worker protests, has not responded to repeated telephone calls and text messages since the raid.

Before she disappeared, Yue wrote an open letter to Xi, saying that young people of all backgrounds should live among the working class — an example Xi set himself when he lived in a rural Chinese village.

“We are not a foreign power, nor a student revolution, nor do we make other political demands,” Yue said in the letter published online on Aug. 19. “We just want to ensure there is justice for the Jasic factory workers.”

Despite the pressure from the authorities, the rights groups appear undeterred.

“Can it really be that the students of elite universities should only eat, drink and be merry?” Zhang Shengye, a Peking University graduate, wrote in an open letter released on Sunday, which was signed by more than 60 supporters of the factory workers. “Should we avoid discussing affairs of the nation and just be blindly subservient?”

Zhang was detained on Sunday night, labor rights advocates said.

Additional reporting by the Shenzhen newsroom

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