Government targets Winnie-the-Pooh
BEIJING – The Chinese government routinely censors discussion of weighty issues like Tibet, Taiwan and human rights abuses.
Now it is being accused of going after a far softer target: Winnie-the-Pooh.
Internet users in China have in recent days reported problems posting references to the warmhearted bear of A.A. Milne’s children’s books on social media sites. The apparent reason? Some commenters are using images of Winnie-the-Pooh to suggest that he shows a resemblance to President Xi Jinping.
The Communist Party bristles at even the slightest hint of criticism, and censors are especially sensitive to any mockery involving Xi, the most powerful Chinese leader in decades.
The party has shown particular disdain for comparisons of Xi and Winnie-the-Pooh.
The government’s army of censors has been battling the meme since at least 2013, when Xi met President Barack Obama at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
At the time, internet users posted pictures of Xi and Obama alongside an image showing Winnie-the-Pooh and his smiling companion, Tigger.
– New York Times