Xi the Pooh memes swamp PH social media
One of the world’s most social-media savvy people wasted no time in greeting their nation’s special guest, China’s President Xi Jinping, on Tuesday launching a flurry of memes featuring a fictional manlike teddy bear.
Xi arrived Tuesday for a two-day state visit in the country, his first trip to the Philippines upon the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Some netizens did not mince words in expressing their dislike over Xi’s visit.
In one clip posted Tuesday, Pooh bows before a mirror while “Hail Satan” flashes across the screen, in another he floats near an artificial island built by Beijing in the disputed South China Sea.
A Facebook user named Wilfredo Garrido wrote: “Because Winnie the Pooh is banned in China because he’s the spitting image of Xi Jinping, let’s protest his presence by posting memes and photos of him with his (lookalike).”
Because Winnie the Pooh is banned in China because he's the spitting image of Xi Jinping, let's protest his presence by posting memes and photos of him with his kaloolike so that it reaches the Chinese media.
One more meme showed Winnie the Pooh, his shirt bearing China’s flag, reaching high for a honeypot that had Philippine flag on it.
Welcome to the Philippines Xi!#WelcomeNOTWelcomeADVERTISEMENT
Another meme showed Xi and Duterte put next to an image of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
The self-described “bear of very little brain” has been used in the past on social media to poke fun at portly Xi, a joke that has drawn crackdowns from Beijing’s censors.
Comparisons between Xi and Pooh first emerged in 2013, after Chinese social media users began circulating a pair of pictures that placed an image of Pooh and his slender tiger friend “Tigger” beside a photograph of Xi walking with then-US President Barack Obama.
In 2014, a photographed handshake between Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was matched with an image of Pooh gripping the hoof of his gloomy donkey friend Eeyore.
And in 2015, the political analysis portal Global Risk Insights called a picture of Xi standing up through the roof of a parade car paired with an image of a Winnie the Pooh toy car “China’s most censored photo” of the year.
Xi’s visit to the Philippines comes amid warming ties between Manila and Beijing after the two countries’ relations were strained during the Aquino administration because of the maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
— Pablo Andres (@palpogi) November 20, 2018
— PCortes (@pingcortes) November 20, 2018
— michael #JoinLFS (@michaelwhosayan) November 19, 2018
A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, which was released on the eve of Xi’s arrival to the Philippines, revealed that anti-China stance among Filipinos was still high amid the sea row.
The survey found that 84 percent of Filipinos said it was not right Manila simply lets Beijing build and fortify its military outposts in the disputed territories.
The SWS said that China was rated “poor” in the survey with -16, which is 19 points above its net trust in June which was rated “bad” with -35.
It added that distrust in China was higher among those who were aware that Beijing created artificial islands, which is now being used as military airbases in the disputed waters. With a report from Agence France Presse/kga/ac
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.