Planet China

No hugs, please, we’re Chinese

Binzhou University earned an unwanted reputation last week as China’s most puritanical educator after an embracing couple were chastised by a ‘self-discipline committee’ and ordered to hand in their student IDs.

The incident happened on May 12, reports, when a student hugged his girlfriend as they were strolling across a campus located in Shandong province.

Unfortunately for them they were being watched by a member of a group set up by the university to police “uncivilised behaviour” such as smoking, kissing or hugging in public. On being approached by this student the pair refused to give their names and claimed they didn’t even attend the university. The officious committee member demanded to see their ID cards and in the ensuing tussle the male student bruised his arms and legs.

The incident grabbed widespread publicity when it was posted online, leading university management to punish all concerned with demerits (the couple were Binzhou University students and were lying about their status to avoid having their names taken). Plenty of netizens thought it was ridiculous that a university campus should ban such displays of affection while a few saw parallels between the committee member and the violent Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution. College authorities said they would “increase the education and guidance of the students to avoid such incidents happening again,” reported.

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