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Chinese university student nearly expelled because of his father’s low “social rating

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Chinese university student nearly expelled because of his father's low "social rating
Skipped school – lost some social rating points
For several years now, China has been implementing a system for evaluating citizens according to their trustworthiness (not necessarily political, we are talking about creditworthiness, public order violations, etc.).The government’s goal is to create a single social rating for absolutely all citizens. And the lives of Chinese people will directly depend on this rating. If the rating is low, they may not give a student loan or even not let a suspicious citizen out of the country.
In 2016. reported It was reported in 2016 that the initiators of the project had only created a project concept, which, however, was gradually being developed and implemented. Already then, in 2016, different variants of this system were tested in a number of regions of China. And now, it seems, there are already some results. For example, one of the students at a famous Chinese university was almost expelled because his father had a low social rating.
The problem arose because the student’s father once took out a loan of about $30, 000 from a local bank and has no way to pay it off. As a result, he ended up on the "black list" of citizens who cannot be trusted. The officials decided that in this case the son was responsible for his father and decided to punish him as well by lowering him a few notches down on the "social status table.
When the issue arose that the son could not continue his university studies because of his father’s debt, the father began to pay the loan in order to improve his social standing. The student continued his studies, but the story itself became public. The news quickly spread throughout the country, because here university education is a "social elevator. The Chinese have to study hard, which is not easy, because the education system is quite complicated. On top of that, the way to the future can be blocked by a bad grade on the unified state exam in high school.
News reached to the statewide media, and education officials in the region where the incident occurred have since been advised not to link parents’ problems (at least their creditworthiness) to the fate of their children. In the media People’s Daily there was published the following note: "The opportunity to become a student at a prestigious university should not depend on the prosperity of the parents, the main thing here is hard work and effort. Artificially restricting students’ chances to attend universities violates their rights to an education."
So far, the social rating system that works in the country is fragmentary. In each province it is individual, the individual fragments are tested and then, if all is well, merged into the whole.
You can lower your score not only by not paying a loan, but also by drinking, trying to drive without a ticket, cheating the taxman, and breaking family planning rules.
Last year it was reported that both the national leadership and the leadership of several dozen PRC regions were working on the implementation of this system. It is not easy to create such a system, so it is unlikely to become unified in the near future. Interestingly, in some cases, the formation of such a system is hindered by local officials. They simply do not benefit from opening up information about their region to the central government, otherwise they will either have to justify themselves for the years of deception or work daily to improve the indicators – and most likely both.
"Whether or not we will be able to implement this project is still unclear, we are in a state of uncertainty. Either way, it’s better than what worked all previous years, when we had no data and the police judged people based on information they got from other people, " said Meng Tingguang, a political scientist at Tsinghua University.
As an example of real punishment for those with low social rankings, there are several cases of refusal to serve in the army, followed by punishment from the authorities. By refusing to serve in the army, a Chinese citizen falls in social rating positions so much that they cannot study in high school or pursue higher education. As far as can be understood, after refusal one must repeat his or her education, in addition, such "conscientious objectors" are not allowed to go abroad or buy real estate.
As might be expected, representatives of foreign human rights organizations consider the Chinese system to be something like "Big Brother, " at least its prototype. Some Chinese, on the other hand, are quite happy with the system. "I have the feeling that in the last six months, people’s behavior has gotten better and better. For example, when driving, we now always stop in front of crosswalks. If you don’t stop, you lose points. At first we were worried about losing points, but we’re used to it now." stated one of the Chinese last year.

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