PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 2:17pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 2:17pm

Stop brainwashing our children, China’s parents say


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

A group of 4-year-old children have been photographed parading at their kindergarten with toy automatic rifles chanting “Diaoyu Islands belong to China” This is no joke.

The kindergarten in Zhejiang province held a “Protect the Diaoyu Islands” competition earlier this week. A dozen 3- and 4-year-olds, all dressed in military uniforms, competed together to plant a red flag on the “Diaoyu Islands”.

The event has angered many Chinese parents.

While many dislike the idea of children brandishing weapons, others want educators to keep politics out of the classroom.

“If we can’t even protect our children from abusive teachers, how are we going to protect the Diaoyu Islands?” said a Sina Weibo user.

A Zhejiang kindergarten teacher enraged China’s netizens earlier this month by posting photos of her physically abusing children (link). The woman was arrested, but later released.

Many people in China find brainwashing of children just as upsetting as physical abuse.

“Why don’t these teachers go and fight for the islands and leave our children alone,” said a Sina Weibo user.


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