‘China’s Obama’ says eas­ier to mimic Trump

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO - Satarupa Bhat­tachar­jya

Xiao Jiguo’s ca­reer will likely be af­fected once US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama re­mits of­fice in Jan­uary.

Be it in the streets of Bei­jing or on re­gional tele­vi­sion, the Chi­nese ac­tor claims he charges up to $6,000 for a one­time ap­pear­ance as Obama.

But the 30-year-old for­mer con­struc­tion worker, who was born in South­west China’s Sichuan prov­ince, doesn’t think his mar­ket value will di­min­ish overnight. Af­ter all, the real Obama has some fans in China be­cause of his wit and charisma, Xiao told me and an­other jour­nal­ist over a meal of spicy curry and rice at a road­side eatery in Bei­jing last week.

This Day, That Year

Item from Dec 2, 1996, in China Daily: A con­fer­ence is to be held to raise fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal sup­port from in­ter­na­tional donors for China’s HIV and AIDS con­trol pro­gram.

The Min­istry of Health has pledged to ex­pand pub­lic­ity and pro­mote co­op­er­a­tion with UN agen­cies and for­eign coun­tries in the global AIDS con­trol pro­gram. ...

China has made a lot of progress in com­bat­ing HIV/ AIDS — deaths from HIV/ AIDS are fall­ing as more peo­ple are able to ac­cess

Xiao doesn’t speak English. He of­fers gib­ber­ish while im­i­tat­ing man­ner­isms — mostly the fa­mous frown and a few hand move­ments — of the US pres­i­dent.

“I will con­tinue to act and sing,” Xiao said, adding that while a mar­ket for du­pli­cates ex­ists, im­i­ta­tion, how­ever flat­ter­ing it may be to their sub­jects, can’t be an end in it­self for the ac­tors.

At the height of his Obama im­per­son­ation last year, he did sev­eral events and par­tic­i­pated in a pop­u­lar re­al­ity TV show. But Xiao has yet to be cast in a pres­i­den­tial role on the big screen.

He will start to shoot a zom­bie movie in De­cem­ber, he said. Pre­vi­ously, he has played the man­ager of a tra­di­tional drama troupe, a mon­ster and some other roles.

Af­ter our din­ner last week, Xiao gave us a deeper glimpse of his Obama per­sona with an treat­ment. In Bei­jing, no baby has been born with HIV since 2014.

HIV/AIDS in­fec­tion rate in China is about 0.06 per­cent, lower than the global av­er­age of 0.8 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

How­ever, be­cause of the large pop­u­la­tion, China is one of 15 coun­tries with the high­est num­bers of AIDS car­ri­ers in the world.

As of Septem­ber, there were 654,000 peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS in China, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Cen­ter for AIDS and Sex­u­ally Trans­mit­ted Dis­ease Con­trol eye makeup, es­pe­cially the brows of the US pres­i­dent. Then he put on a white shirt and a neck­tie to pose for pho­tos and videos. In 2008, when he was work­ing as a se­cu­rity guard in the south­ern prov­ince of Guang­dong, a col­league had told him that he re­sem­bled Obama.

Xiao shares some fa­cial sim­i­lar­i­ties with Obama when viewed from the side, but the ac­tor doesn’t lit­er­ally and Pre­ven­tion.

China’s first ma­jor out­break of HIV/AIDS came in the bor­der re­gions in the 1990s, through in­tra­venous drug use. The dis­ease quickly spread to other prov­inces through il­le­gal sales of blood. mea­sure up in height.

“I gen­er­ally watch Obama’s speeches on the in­ter­net,” Xiao said of his re­search.

Xiao has joined the Bei­jing Film Academy to re­fine his act­ing skills and move to other gen­res. On and off, he has lived in the city since 2012.

He has also lived in Heng­dian, an eastern city, where a large num­ber of film stu­dios are lo­cated. It is dubbed “China’s Hol­ly­wood.”

The son of farm­ers from Nei­jiang, Xiao stud­ied un­til ju­nior high school be­fore join­ing work in 2003. His late grand­fa­ther fought in the Korean War, he said.

When we asked him about Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, Xiao said: “I feel im­i­tat­ing Trump will be eas­ier than copy­ing Obama.”

Con­tact the writer at satarupa @chi­nadaily.com.cn

Last year, the pro­por­tion of cases of HIV/AIDS as a re­sult of in­tra­venous drug use was less than 5 per­cent, and the in­fec­tion rate be­tween cou­ples where one part­ner had AIDS fell to 1 per­cent from 5.9 per­cent in 2010.

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