Zhang Muyi, a 24-year-old pop singer is in love with his girlfriend, Canadian model Akama Miki, and he wants the world to know it. She's 12. The couple has made their romance public fodder on China's social media site Weibo where they've been posting lovesick messages to one another along with photos of themselves embracing, running on the beach, and cuddling on the couch watching TV. Their relationship has caused a stir, but unbelievably, their fan base of nearly one million followers are captivated by their love story.
What really attracted attention to the relationship was when Muyi posted a picture of the pair on the beach at night, touching finger tips in a kind of "kiss," telling her in the caption that he loves her. Most comments under the photo are supportive, with one saying, "Love knows no boundaries, a 12-year-old with a 24-year-old is not a big deal." Except that it is.
First of all, it's not legal. Even Muyi acknowledged that a few weeks ago on Miki's 12th birthday—that's right, when they first started dating she was 11—when he posted a photo of them sharing a cake and added the caption, "I simply can't wait for these next four birthdays of yours to pass, I'm counting down each one," referring to when she'll be 16 and the law will no longer stand in their way. More importantly, though, is that while he is an adult, Miki is a child, a point that has been driven home by her responses to Muyi, "I will always love you and you will be my darling forever!!!" adding some hearts at the end, in preteen fashion.
However, some detractors are claiming that this is nothing but a publicity stunt, as Miki is launching a music career and the revelation of their relationship coincided with the release of the music video for their duet. And although they have nearly a million followers on Weibo, they only follow each other, with their accounts seemingly dedicated to promoting their love. Their next single is called "Courageous Love."
But what PR team would actually sanction something so outrageous and illegal and, frankly, gross? It's the kind of thing that ruins careers, not makes them. Muyi has responded to the allegations of fraud by saying:
Many people have doubted us and our love story. There's nothing we can do about this, nor do we feel the need to prove anything to these people. All we can do is continue to persevere with our love, our life, and being together.
And in case you were wondering whether or not the couple is having sex, Muyi has implied that they have not, "I said to Miki, 'I'm going to be with you as you grow, I'll always wait for you.'"
The child and the pop star [Daily Life]
Once upon a time in China: Popstar, 24, falls for model, 12 [News.com.au]