Photo of the Day: Pooh firing misinformation missile in S. Taiwan

Politically charged Pooh graffiti mural spotted in Tainan, Taiwan

Photo by Instagram user @ThehungryJoe.

Photo by Instagram user @ThehungryJoe.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- This whimsical depiction of Winnie the Pooh spray-painted on a wall in Tainan City was photographed by an American teacher on Saturday (May 11) and soon became a big hit on social media.

Joseph (Instagram user @ThehungryJoe), who currently lives in Taoyuan, spotted the graffiti mural while apartment hunting in Tainan City's East District. In the painting, the creator of which has yet to be identified, Winnie the Pooh is seen holding a TV camera with a rocket flying out of it.

Like all artwork, it is open to interpretation, but in recent years, Winnie the Pooh has increasingly been used to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff. The video camera could be interpreted as Communist China's propaganda media machine.

The rocket could symbolize both the disinformation generated through China's state-run media and the 2,000 plus ballistic missiles Beijing has pointed at Taiwan. Joseph uploaded the photo on the social media platform Reddit on Saturday, and by Monday (May 13), the post had gained 300 upvotes.

Meme by Aron Larsson released in Feb. comparing Xi and Pooh.

The first light-hearted comparison between Xi and Pooh reportedly 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."

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. Comparisons of Xi with the plump Pooh have since been strictly banned in China.

Photo by Instagram user @ThehungryJoe.