• Life in Lhasa

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Sexual relationship between teachers and students recently became headlines in China, including a sex video of a male Changzhou University professor having sex with a female student inside the classroom.

Another one involved a teacher in a Nanjing university who harassed 14 female students into taking half-naked photos. It is the sexual harassment of students by teachers which should be banned and not romantic relationship between the two, 90 percent of Chinese netizens said, based on social media comments.

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The comments were made in response to a proposal by Yan Yiming, a Beijing Institute of Technology professor, who wrote an article published on Monday in China Youth Daily. In pushing for an “explicit ban on romance between teachers and students,” Yan said it had become a problem in Chinese higher education, reported Global Times.

He cited a similar ban existing in the U.S. In opposing the professor’s suggestion, some netizens pointed to known Chinese figures in similar situation. One of those cited was Lu Xun, a 20th century writer who had a son with one of his students, reported NDTV.

The following day after the publication of Yan’s article, the Beijing Times, in a commentary, noted the basis of the U.S. ban on romance between teachers and students is based on feminist theories that dominate American society. China’s tradition is shaped by a different understanding of what is love, which makes it wrong to ape western values.

In 2014, the Ministry of Education issued a directive banning teachers from sexually harassing their students. But it did not explicitly state that a teacher-student romance is forbidden.