When a Mother’s Love Conflicts With Loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party

(Image:  University of the Fraser Valley  via   flickr/ CC BY 2.0 )

A Chinese Communist Party bureaucrat has become a controversial figure on social media for advocating against the spread of western values in Chinese classrooms even though she herself sent her son to study aboard.

Lin Yu Hong, the deputy head of the Internet multimedia department of China’s Communist Youth League, has been using her Weibo account @XiaoLin (@小蔺) to spread so-called positive energy online and attack voices that are critical of the Chinese government.

Last week, netizens digging through her Weibo archive discovered that she had sent her son to study in Canada. The post, written on 3 August 2012, said (screen capture via Weibo user @ShepherdAtEmperorCity:

Netizens also learned that before her son went aboard, he was studying in an expensive international school in China. In addition, two of her nephews are also studying in Canada.

After she became the target of scrutiny, Lin quickly deleted all the relevant posts, but netizens had screen-captured them and circulated them online.

The fact that her son went abroad for his education would be no big deal had Lin not been so judgmental of others for embracing western values or leaving China. Last year, she echoed the communist party’s education policy on her Weibo (screen capture via online forumSbanzu):

Lin’s perceived hypocrisy triggered a huge amount of responses from netizens. While some defended her, arguing that she is a good mother for loving her son more than the party, others blasted her for not practicing what she preaches.

Though the majority of the hostile reactions she received have been scrubbed from Weibo, the following comment been reposted in many online forums (via online forum Club.China

As netizens tagged her over and over again in the line of questioning on Weibo, Lin was compelled to answer:

‘They talk about ideology but think about business’

Ja Ya, a current affairs observer, saw Lin as a typical figure in today’s China. He examined Lin’s social media profile, concluding that Lin had undergone a “radical change” in her online personality beginning in 2012:

The year 2012 marked the full transition of power from former Chinese President Hu Jintao to current leader Xi Jinping, who views ideological battle as one of the most important ways the Chinese Communist Party can hold on to power. In the past two years, Lin has joined several attacks against online celebrities, including a nail technician named Luo Yufeng who tried hard to make her way to New York.

Lin suggested that Luo had relied on someone else to buy her ticket (subtly implying that she was a sex worker). Lin also called on web censors to take a closer look at online video celebrity Xiao Papi, who mixes different Chinese dialects in her online show; Lin accused her of spreading vulgar content.

Most recently, she attacked Christoph Rehage, a German living in China, for criticizing his country of residence over a vaccine scandal in which doses of outdated or improperly stored vaccines were given; Lin told him to leave China and go home.

Ja Ya argued that Lin’s change in attitude was indicative of the times and that she is not alone:

Another current affairs commenter, Wang Haitao, however, saw a “good mother” in Lin’s hypocrisy:

This article by Lahar Sarsen originally appeared on Global Voices

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