A cartoon graphic called ‘Where has Xi Jinping’s Time Gone?’ became the focus of public opinion after being published on a Beijing-affiliated website and reposted thousands of times by netizens who have thoroughly enjoyed the playful, rotund depiction of China’s president.
The publisher of the cartoon, Huang Tingman, who’s also the chief editor of Qianlong.com, said the inspiration came from one of Xi’s interview responses during his visit to Sochi.
“Where’s my personal time? It has been taken up by work, of course,” Xi said to Russian Media on February 7 when asked about how he spends his time.
According to the graphic, in the 15 months since Xi has been president, he’s taken 12 trips within China and has visited 14 countries in five different continents. In the last year alone, he’s taken part in 47 different conferences.
Chinese netizens have been, for the most part, charmed by recent, more down-to-earth depictions of their president. A couple of months ago, Chinese media had a field day when Xi paid a visit to a steamed bun shop in Beijing, playing up a “man of the people” presence rarely seen in previous top-level leaders. Some people were so dazzled that they evenmade a song about his visits to the common eatery.
The first time the Chinese leader appeared in cartoon form (if you don’t count this Winnie the Pooh comparison that was posted and systematically censored on Weibo) was this five minutes video animation released at the end of last year, which introduced the tumultuous process through which China’s president came to power from the grassroots.
By Isabel Quan