Politics continues to be the dominant theme in Hong Kong as the leadership race heads into its final three weeks in a three-horse showdown. But across the border, around the nation, the focus has been on Wu Yizhu (武亦姝), a 16-year-old girl who became the latest wang hong, or internet celebrity, thanks to the popular variety show Chinese Poetry Conference produced by state broadcaster CCTV.
The slim, mild-mannered high school girl from Shanghai beat a PhD candidate from Beijing University to win the final championship of the season. It was a win-win for both CCTV and the girl.
Overnight, Wu shot to national fame through the poetry recital contest. Video clips of her reciting classic poems went viral when the programme became an unexpected hit. And suddenly, learning Chinese classical literature has become a hot topic among schools, parents, students and academics, with many believing it can enhance the younger generation’s understanding of their culture and history.