China’s latest enemy of the state: a cartoon character

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Chinese authorities have blocked the use of Winnie the Pooh on social media sites in China. Images of Winnie the Pooh may not be posted, nor may his Chinese name appear on social media sites because bloggers have been comparing the cartoon bear to China’s president, Xi Jinping.

A recent awkward handshake between Xi Jinping and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prompted bloggers to post pictures of Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore shaking hands.

On another occasion, President Xi popped his head out of the sunroof of his limousine in order to inspect troops, and a photo was posted on social media of a toy car with Winnie the Pooh popping out of it.

Winnie the Pooh has previously provoked the ire of Chinese authorities, and the renewed campaign against him is a result of the upcoming Communist Party Congress this fall.

The meeting is convened every five years and includes the appointment of the new Politburo Standing Committee, a seven-member group that rules the Chinese political system.

According to the BBC, “Xi Jinping will also be using the Congress, which marks the beginning of his second term in office, to further solidify his grip on power by promoting allies and sidelining those seen as a threat. It had been thought that China has transformed into a system of two-term governance for the country’s supreme leader but this is merely a recent convention rather than a rule.”

Since Xi has created so many enemies within the Party due to his crackdown on corruption, many have questioned whether he can afford to give up his power following the next five-year term.

In order maintain his office, Xi must ensure that he has absolute loyalty, and will not tolerate challenges to his authority—even from a cartoon bear.

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