Anhui city admits to manipulating official's photo

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 10:43am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 8:39am

The government of Ningguo, a city in central Anhui province, admitted on Wednesday that it created a photo that could well be one of the worst examples of Photoshopped propaganda depicting a Chinese Communist Party official with an ailing citizen.

Wang Jun, a member of the municipal party committee and deputy mayor, is seen chatting with an elderly woman in a photograph accompanying a report carried by the city’s Civil Affairs Department, which he is in charge of.

The Ninguo native did in fact visit 103-year old Cheng Yanchun at her home on October 11, but the deparment had to manipulate the photo because of "issues with photo's angle", accoring to a report on the website of the People's Daily newspaper on Wednesday.

The obviously manipulated photo, which appears to be two separate photographs superimposed over one another, shows the apparently kind-hearted official towering over a disproportionately small Cheng. The upper body of a man standing next to Wang appears to be floating over the seated woman as his lower body has mysteriously faded into the background.

“Wang Jun stressed that respect, love and consideration for the elderly is a cherished Chinese tradition,” the report read. “They should feel the warmth of the party and the government.”

A man reached at the municipal government of Ningguo on Sunday, who declined to be identified, said that he was convinced the city had been targeted by hackers. “Normally, things like this don’t happen.” He said the city’s leadership has seen the photo and was investigating its origin.

The city’s municipal information office could not be reached for comment. The Civil Affairs Department website was not accessible on Wednesday.