The US Secretary of State has claimed that he was not trying to throw any shade at China by posting a photo to his personal Twitter account of his dog playing with a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal.
Mike Pompeo posted the image of his doggo on Wednesday with the caption: “Mercer and all of her favorite toys.”
Mercer and all of her favorite toys! 🐶 pic.twitter.com/bGal0ui6E2
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) July 15, 2020
Many quickly speculated that the post was obviously more than just an innocent and boring dog pic for its inclusion of the famous/infamous A.A. Milne character.
Winnie the Pooh has become something of a persona non grata in China because of his purported likeness to Chinese president Xi Jinping, a comparison that China’s “most powerful leader since Mao” appears to find unflattering.
Winnie’s name and picture haveoccasionally been censored on Chinese social media. In 2018, the live-action Winnie the Pooh movie, Christopher Robin wasdenied a releasein the Middle Kingdom for reasons unexplained.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government loathes Pompeo even more than Winnie with the US Secretary of State calling China’s leadership “hostile” and the “central threat of our times” and while China has referred to Pompeo as “evil” and the “master of lying.”
However, despite appearances, Pompeo denied that there is any sort of deeper meaning to his pet pic when he was asked about by conservative radio host Simon Conway.
“No, I imagine there were a series of stuffed animals, and they were equally distributed for Mercer’s benefit,” Pompeo replied to the question.