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Human Rights & Social Issues

Chinese school’s ridiculous claim of family relationship with US Nobel Prize winner

Eric Betzig

Eric Betzig

Soon after US Scientist Eric Betzig won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2014), Bangbu No. 1 Secondary School in Anhui Province, China celebrated the event and posted a conspicuous announcement of congratulation on its son-in-law winning the Nobel Prize.

How can a school have a son-in-law? That is a bizarre question.

How can a Chinese secondary school have an American son-in-law? That is an even more bizarre question. Everybody was puzzled.

It turned out that Betzig’s wife is a graduate of that school, so the school believes it is justified to claim that Betzig is the school’s son-in-law.

Soon after, many web users sneered at the school on the Internet for its brazen-faced claim of kinship for fame, as the school has nothing to do with Betzig winning the prize..

The person responsible at the school argued that Mrs. Betzig was also brilliant, having won a top scholarship at the China University of Technology, and having made quite a few scientific research achievements, though not as well-known as her husband. The congratulation announcement was posted to encourage students to learn from Mrs. Betzig.

However, the school withdrew the announcement soon afterwards.

In fact, such malpractice of having arbitrary connections is quite common in China from long ago. It may even be regarded as a Chinese tradition.

In the section “Corruption and Mao’s Influence,” Chapter 25 (Chapter 17 in the first edition) of the expanded 2nd edition of my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements, I said, “In China, it is very difficult for an official to be really independent. As soon as one becomes an official, one is regarded by his relatives and friends as their asset. They usually boast their connection with the official sometimes merely out of pride but often to tell other people that the connection may be utilised for their benefit.

“For example, when a judge deals with a case involving lots of economic interests, interested parties will try every means to influence his decision through his friends, relatives, other officials and friends and relatives of his friends and relatives and other officials. The temptation of corruption is very great. That was why official corruption was a major cause for the collapse of quite a few dynasties in Chinese history, and especially why the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) defeated the Kuomintang. Today, the threat of official corruption is very serious and concerns the CCP’s survival.”

Since connections are so important, what connections can one have in official circles when he becomes an official. He usually has no friends or relatives in the circles. In the Qing Dynasty a century ago, there was a way as soon as one entered the circles.

When an official had committed a mistake, quite a few officials of various ages ranging from 20 to 60 begged for leniency for him. They did so as they were all of the same age as the official. How can people of different ages from 20 to 60 be of the same age?

They were of the same age because they all passed the civil service examination in the same year. The age here means their official age. The official had the “same-age” connections with quite a few other officials as soon as he passed the examination.

The feudal civil service examination system has long been abolished, but connections remain vital and there are other ways to establish connections. You can find the major ones in my book. Of course, there are quite a few other ways, which I will describe later in other posts if readers are interested.

China is a large country with a very long history quite different from the West. There are many things that Western people, even China experts, find bizarre.

Source: Singtao Daily “Anhui Secondary School congratulate its ‘son-in-law” for winning Nobel Prize” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
Source: Chan Kai Yee Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee



  1. Pingback: Many of China’s TV shows, films are rubbish, minister says | China Daily Mail - November 20, 2014

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