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Left-behind children in China
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Shen Yiqin, state councillor and president of the All-China Women’s Federation, says women must contribute to the ‘great cause of national rejuvenation’.

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Internet friends instead of real-life relationships, online dependence, depression and anxiety are among the pandemic effects noted by researchers.

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This week in ‘love and courage in China’, we highlight stories celebrating the human spirit featuring a woman ‘texting’ with her dead mother, a small girl’s elation at dad’s surprise return and an observant man saving his neighbour’s life.

A distressing video of a small boy clinging to his mother as she tries to depart for her job in another city renews debate about the tens of millions of children who grow up without their parents.

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Social media recently became enthralled by the story of a 31-year-old migrant who taught himself English, translated a philosophy book and found he could make a living without manual labour, bucking migrant stereotypes.

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Many parents have come to accept separation as the price they pay for working, while places like the Philippines have come to view migrant workers as heroes.

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Documentary about a Chinese former Olympic baseball star’s efforts to secure a better future through the sport for some of the millions of ‘left-behind’ children in the country has been praised as inspirational by cinema-goers.

When filmmaker Yuchao Feng’s mother told him a secret – that she had been abandoned as a child – it gave him the idea for a short film, Pearl. Making it helped rebuild their relationship, and he hopes it can heal the wounds of other families.

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There is a gap between rural and urban schools in educational quality, putting village students at a disadvantage. Volunteer teaching trips should aim to teach soft skills instead of academic knowledge.

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Wang Fuman’s life has changed for the better a year after his freezing photo went viral, but despite his fame, he just wants to be treated as a normal boy.

Of the thousands of articles we published last year about day-to-day life in the world’s most populous country, these are the nine you clicked on, shared and talked about more than any others.