Animation of Chinese state leaders a big hit with overseas politicians

Laotian politicians amused by propaganda-style cartoon, newspapers report

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 3:07pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 6:25pm

A mysterious animation praising China’s political system that has been circulating online was used by the Communist Party as official propaganda material when it sent a delegation to Laos last week.

The five-minute animation, depicting Chinese President Xi Jinping as an amiable cartoon character, was played by a party delegation led by Li Jie, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, on a visit to Laos last Friday, the website of the People’s Daily reported.

The animation caught netizens by surprise when it was first uploaded online in October by a Beijing-based studio named "On the Way to Revivification" ahead of the third plenary session of the party’s 18th Central Committee in November.

Video: A Chinese animation tells you how to become a US president

The light-hearted cartoon, which shows Xi’s rise through the ranks in a comparison of the political systems of China, the US and the UK, drew more than a million views within two days after it was posted online. Chinese politicians have rarely been portrayed as cartoon figures, and certainly not in an animation. It soon led to widespread speculation over whether it was made by the party’s propaganda department in an attempt to appeal to the tech-savvy younger generations by employing new and more sophisticated methods of communication.

The Southern Metropolis Daily reported that the animation “elicited laughter and applause” in the Chinese delegation’s meetings with Laotian representatives during their five-day visit, where Li gave speeches about the third party plenum that concluded in late November, and about the benefits of a rising China for its neighbours.

The delegation was one of several organised by the party’s international department with the mission of promoting the third plenum, a key party meeting outlining China’s roadmap of reforms, the newspaper said. The party is sending more delegations to countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe to promote the plenum as it steps up diplomacy efforts.

Three party delegations visited India, Nepal and Uzbekistan earlier this month.