Chinese magazine editor under investigation for publishing son’s work

Mandy Zuo

The editor of a Chinese financial magazine is under investigation for publishing poems and articles written by his son over a period of 13 years, starting when the child was just 10, according to state media.

The case dates back to November 2006, when Wang Songqi, the editor of The Chinese Banker, launched a “Culture & Leisure” column, Xinhua Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday.

The publication is affiliated to the Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), which is based in the central China city of Taiyuan.

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In the years since, the column had featured scores of essays and poems written by Wang’s son, Wang Qingshi, and some of the father’s calligraphy, the report said.

After an article written by the boy titled “Song of the Four Seasons” appeared in the inaugural column in 2006, a reader complained that “such childish content seems inappropriate to appear in this professional publication”.

Wang, who is a former Communist Party chief of the finance research institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, defended his publishing decision in his “Editor’s notes” column in the first issue of 2007.

He said the child was talented and that the publication put content above all, “no matter if the writer is an enemy or a relative”.

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In an interview with Thecover.cn on Thursday, Wang adopted a similar tone, saying: “Whoever writes well can get published.”

According to a search on CNKI, China’s leading database of journals, between 2006 and 2018, the monthly magazine published more than 90 essays and poems written by Qingshi.

Xinhua Daily Telegraph said in a separate article on Thursday that Wang had reduced the publication to “a plot of land for [his] personal needs” and would be punished “according to related regulations”.

It did not say why it had taken 13 years for the authorities to react to the allegations or what charges Wang might face.

Sun Yong, the head of the anti-corruption commission at the SASS, was quoted as saying that the academy had launched an investigation and would publish its results at a later date.

The Chinese Banker had been under the academy’s control only for about a year and had formerly been run by the Shanxi provincial government, the official said.

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