During a recent photo-op in an impoverished village in Hunan, Xi Jinping (who is like, totally the president and the general secretary) was brought to visit a 64-year-old woman who had no idea who the hell he was.
This isn’t the first time that a rural visit has gotten weird; we all fondly remember that time Li Keqiang got mooned by some toddler in Inner Mongolia. Austin Ramzy at Sinosphere writes:
Upon entering the home of a family whose sole electrical appliance was a fluorescent bulb, the most powerful man in China was asked by the 64-year-old matriarch, “What do I call you?,” according to a report from Xinhua, the state-run news agency. It was a polite way of saying, “Who are you?”
The village official stepped in quickly, telling his constituent, “This is the general secretary.” […]
His trip to a remote region of Hunan is a reminder that, while China now has nearly 600 million Internet users, there is another half of the country’s population without Internet access. In the case of Shibadong village, there are people without televisions or the means to readily know, outside perhaps the occasional newspaper, just what the country’s leader looks like.