PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 11:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 11:38am

Could Xi-the-Pooh have saved China's declining world image?


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

China’s deteriorating world image could use some help, even if it comes from Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger, said the country’s bloggers.

But unfortunately China's censors have nipped in the bud what could have been a positive PR campaign tailor-made for President Xi Jinping to potentially woo friends and enemies.

The disappointing move came after China’s net users linked two of the world’s most powerful leaders - Xi and US President Barack Obama - as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger this week.

In a Reuters photo, Xi is seen strolling side by side with Obama during their Sunnylands, California, summit at the weekend. Eagle-eyed netizens were reminded of a similar scene involving the two popular fictional characters, and they eagerly shared their discovery on Weibo.

Pictures were later deleted by censors, who apparently did not appreciate the idea of comparing the Chinese president to a chubby bear.

“Was it really necessary to kill cartoons full of positive energy?” Kai-Fu Lee, founder of technology incubator Innovation Works, later protested on his Weibo.

“Look how harmonious and friendly this photo is,” another microblogger wrote. ”Isn’t this what the world wants?”

“Where has [Obama’s] golf club gone?” a reader commented in British newspaper The Sun’s website. 



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