No kissing, please, we’re in Shandong – China’s latest society and culture news

Society & Culture

A summary of the top news in Chinese society and culture for May 19, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Duterte says Xi Jinping warns of war if Philippines drills for oil - China’s latest top news."

A college in Shandong Province has been at the center of controversy on Chinese social media for launching a campaign against public demonstrations of affection among student couples and other “uncivilized behaviors.” It features photos of students holding hands, kissing, and cuddling, as well as photos of students smoking, drinking, and raising pets on campus. At the top of the display boards are regulations made by the school authorities, which say (in Chinese), “Students who hug or kiss in public areas on campus will be given disciplinary warnings or punishments.”

The campaign has drawn a barrage of criticism (in Chinese) on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, with many internet users questioning why college students being in a relationship and showing some affection is regarded as “uncivilized.” One commenter wrote, “Since students are forbidden to do these uncivilized behaviors on campus, is this school forcing them to get a hotel room?” However, despite the online backlash, the school said that it would continue its exposure because “there are related documents from the Ministry of Education to abide by.”

The school’s crackdown on student couples runs against the message sent from He Junke 贺军科, one of the top officials in the Communist Youth League (CYL). In a press conference on May 17, He said that “getting married is the biggest problem among young people.” “For those who attend college, they graduate in their twenties and tend to marry late after having some accomplishments in their jobs,” He said (in Chinese). “Therefore, the CYL needs to help young people find their partners.”