TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Barely four days after Beijing officially banned the new Disney film about Winnie the Pooh, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) tweeted an image of Taiwan's mascot OhBear to poke fun at China's paranoid censorship.
On Aug. 3, news broke on the Hollywood Reporter that China had banned the live-action Disney movie featuring Pooh, "Christopher Robin," possibly because of its campaign against comparisons between China's rotund President Xi Jinping (習近平) and the chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff.
In response, MOFA posted a tweet on Aug. 7 which claimed that OhBear was "dismayed" by the ban on his cuddly "cousin Winnie" in China. The tweet, which gained over 400 likes, also poked fun at China's grisly human rights record by emphasizing that Taiwan treats all bears equally (cartoon or otherwise) and proudly boasted that the film "Christopher Robin" is showing in theaters across Taiwan.
Chinese netizens jokingly compared Xi and Obama to Pooh and Tigger in 2013. (Weibo image)
The first light-hearted comparison between Xi and Pooh reportedly first surfaced in 2013 when Obama met with the Chinese leader, and netizens compared the former to Pooh's lanky friend Tigger. A similar comparison was made with Xi as Pooh and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as Eeyore, the sad donkey. An image of Xi riding through the roof of a parade car with a picture of Winnie in a little toy car super imposed on top was named the "most censored image of 2015" by political consultancy Global Risk Insights."
Chinese netizens compared Japan's Abe and China's Xi to Eeyore and Pooh. (Weibo image)
In July of 2017, images of the seemingly cuddly and innocuous bear were blocked on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo, its messaging app WeChat, and even the ancient messaging tool QQ, as the lead-up to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing intensified.
Image of Pooh next to Xi in his limo was also banned. (Image from lihkg.com)
The following is the full text of the tweet:
Taiwan’s #OhBear is dismayed at the ban slapped on his cousin Winnie’s latest film by censors in #China. Make no mistake: All bears are created equal in #Taiwan & @DisneyCRobin is screening nationwide. https://t.co/97cEdcszXQ pic.twitter.com/FKinxXJwpk— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan)