A former Shandong University student, Nancy Li, a petite, soft-mannered Chinese girl in her early twenties, who is now working as an accountant for a Fortune 500 company, recounts of being assigned to a foreign male classmate as his “female companion” when she was a freshman in college.
In order to receive state sponsored scholarship, Nancy had to sign a contract with Shandong University agreeing to participate in the “female companion” sponsorship.
Not everyone was selected to be in the sponsorship, according to Nancy, the females must be “attractive, white-skinned, and gentle mannered.”
Every foreign male student is assigned three Chinese female student companions who accompany the foreign student to class, lunch and dinner, collegiate events, extracurricular programs and parties, and even sleepover in all male-dormitories.
“We must give in to the demands of those foreign students and if they complain to the University that the female companions are not cooperative, we would lose our scholarship and might even be expelled. Many were coerced into having sex with those foreign students. I have witnessed first hand, a foreign student beating a female companion for refusing his sexual advance.”
Though not explicitly stated in the sponsorship, sex between foreign male students and Chinese female companions is so commonplace that, “every night, we could hear those Chinese girls moaning in the foreign students’ dormitory,” said a former Shandong University student who wished to remain anonymous.
Almost all female companions were virgins, most not only having had zero sexual experience with the opposite sex, but even zero romantic relationship prior to their entrance to the female sponsorship program. Many suffered not only psychological trauma but also physical assault in addition to frequent sexual abuse.
“One time we were all invited to attend a party for foreign students. They forced us to drink a lot of alcohol. When one of the female companions refused, she was slapped really hard across her face. Another tried to intervene, but the guy grabbed her hair and dragged her across the floor. We were all really scared. If we leave, they threatened to complain, and we would all be disciplined by the University,” Nancy said.
Shandong University has a zero tolerance policy against Chinese students who are disrespectful to foreign students. Any Chinese student who express resentment of foreign students will be disciplined up to and including expulsion from the University.
“When they got really drunk, they started to tear at our clothes and fondle our breasts. If we tried to resist, they would hit us. They slapped and twisted my nipples until I was in tears. The party continued until midnight and some [female companions] were so drunk that they had passed out. None of us were allowed to leave until we have all had sex with at least one foreign student.”
In order to encourage more foreign internationals to come to China, and to brand China as a welcoming home for those foreigners, sex between local Chinese women and foreign men is not only tacitly condoned, but openly and actively encouraged, as Chinese national TV frequently showcase beautiful Chinese women being involved in sexual and romantic relationships with foreign men.
“Three of us [female companions] were pushed on the bottom row of their bunker beds, and they took turns having sex with us. None of them used a condom. We felt violated, and wanted to report the incident to the police, but if we did that, the University would have expelled all of us.”
Foreigners in China enjoy special treatment and are often seen behaving above the law. However, alleged accusations of rape committed by foreigners are rare, since most victims are willing participants, or too embarrassed to report the incidents due to a Confucian culture of shame and honor. In the unlikely case that rape is reported, local Chinese police are often hesitant to investigate.
“In order to not make a scene, all of us took morning after pills. There was one really unfortunate girl who didn’t. She was forced to have an abortion, by the University, and it became a campus-wide scandal.”
Looking back at her own experience, though resentful, Nancy also felt happy. “It gave me experience with foreign men, and helped me grow as a person. I’m now married to a white American man and my experience as a female companion to foreign men definitely helped to understand foreign culture better.”
In a survey, most female graduates of Shandong University prefer foreign men as lovers, sex partners, or husbands to local Chinese men. Alumnae to one of the most prestigious universities in China, many went on not only to become highly successful career-women, but also caring housewives to successful foreign men.