TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the ranks of the "Milk Tea Alliance" continue to swell, a photo of the movement incorporated into the "Dust Storm Dog" meme surfaced over the weekend.
The dusty meme started out as a photograph of a sandstorm captured in Phoenix, Arizona by helicopter photographer Jerry Ferguson in 2018. In 2019, Instagram user @robinlopvet added a dog's head to the dust cloud and the "Dust Storm Dog" meme was born.
In mid-April of this year, Chinese trolls started attacking Thai celebrity Vachirawit Chivaaree, also known as "Bright," and his newly revealed girlfriend, Weeraya Sukaram, who goes by the nickname "New" and the Twitter handle "nnevvy." Chinese trolls began their campaign against the pair both for their perceived support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and Taiwan independence activists.
Original version of the Milk Tea Alliance. (Facebook, Milktealogy illustration)
Thai netizens responded to the tidal wave of Chinese troll attacks by using self-deprecating humor under the Twitter hashtag #nnevvy. Soon, Taiwanese and Hong Kong netizens joined in to support their Thai counterparts, and on April 14, the #MilkTeaAlliance meme was born.
The original meme depicts citizens of Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong holding up their respective popular tea drinks: Thai tea, bubble tea, and Hong Kong-style milk tea. The Facebook post has garnered 26,000 likes, 1,200 comments, and 14,000 shares.
Map of expanded Milk Tea Alliance. (Facebook meme)
Over the weekend, netizens combined the Dust Storm Dog with the Milk Tea Alliance to represent the legions of social media users banding together against China. Twitter user TaiwanWarmPower spotted the meme and shared it on Saturday (May 2).
In his post, he called for netizens to tweet messages in support of Taiwan over the Labor Day holiday. Over the weekend, the tweet soon gained 938 likes, 587 retweets, and 19 comments.
What do all members of #MilkTeaAlliance should do this weekend? Let’s #TweetForTaiwan. Say something to support #Taiwan with meme will definitely make those #nmslese busy this weekend. pic.twitter.com/y47r3m8hFG— TaiwanWarmPower (@TaiwanWarmPower) May 1, 2020