Govern­ment tar­gets Win­nie-the-Pooh

The Buffalo News - - WORLD NEWS -

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

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