US News: When China Comes for Pooh Bear … - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News When China Comes for Pooh Bear …

10:05  10 october  2019
10:05  10 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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What happens when China ’s enforcers come after Winnie-the- Pooh ? Will we reluctantly hand over Pooh Bear ? Really sorry about this, Winnie, but China ’s an important market! Winnie-the- Pooh has been banned in China online and at movie theaters because snarky commentators have suggested

The Bear of Very Little Brain joins a long line of funny internet references to China 's top leaders. The blocking of Winnie the Pooh might seem like a bizarre move by the Chinese authorities but it is part of a struggle to restrict clever bloggers from getting around their country's censorship.

a bunch of stuffed animals: A display of plush dolls in the Winnie-the-Pooh collection at a Disney store in Shanghai last year. © Associated Press A display of plush dolls in the Winnie-the-Pooh collection at a Disney store in Shanghai last year.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

What happens when China’s enforcers come after Winnie-the-Pooh?

Will we reluctantly hand over Pooh Bear? Really sorry about this, Winnie, but China’s an important market!

Winnie-the-Pooh has been banned in China online and at movie theaters because snarky commentators have suggested that he resembles the portly President Xi Jinping. But these days Xi doesn’t want to censor information just in his own country; he also wants to censor our own discussions in the West.

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Memes likening Xi to the portly Pooh have become a vehicle in China to mock the country’s leader.

Winnie-the- Pooh , also called Pooh Bear , is a fictional anthropomorphic teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the- Pooh (1926), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928).

That’s the backdrop to China’s hysterical reaction to a tweet by Daryl Morey, the Houston Rockets’ general manager, sympathizing with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrations.

When the N.B.A. moved into China in the early 2000s, it made a plausible argument that engagement would help extend our values to China. Instead, the Communist Party is exploiting N.B.A. greed to extend its values to the United States.

China's President Xi Jinping. © Getty China's President Xi Jinping. China is also forcing American Airlines to treat Taiwan as part of China, and it bullied Mercedes-Benz into apologizing for quoting the Dalai Lama. It made Marriott fire an employee for “wrongfully liking” a tweet by an organization that favors Tibetan independence.

There’s not much we can do about a dictator like Xi bullying his own citizens, but we should not let him stifle debate in our country.

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China denied the screening of a new Winnie-the- Pooh film after Xi Jinping was compared to the cartoon bear , according to reports. The new film tells the story of a now middle-aged Christopher Robin, whose mundane life takes a turn when he is unexpectedly reunited with the Hundred Acre

Internet users in China have in recent days reported problems posting references to the warmhearted bear of A.A. Milne’s children’s books on social media sites. The apparent reason? Some commenters are using images of Winnie-the- Pooh to suggest that he shows a resemblance to President Xi Jinping.

Let me interrupt this diatribe, however, for important context. Those of us who criticize Xi must also have the humility to acknowledge that child mortality is now lower in Beijing than in Washington, D.C., that China has established new universities at a rate of one a week and that Shanghai’s public schools put our own school systems to shame.

So, yes, let’s stand up to Chinese bullying — and speak up when China detains at least one million Muslims, in what may be the biggest internment of people based on religion since the Holocaust. But let’s also note that China has helped lift more people out of poverty more quickly than any nation in history. With China, it’s always helpful to hold at least two contradictory ideas in our heads at the same time.

Xi’s anxiety about the internet, religion, Hong Kong protesters, even Winnie-the-Pooh underscores his own insecurities. Xi seems terrified that real information will infiltrate the Chinese echo chamber, undermining his propaganda department’s personality cult around a benign “Uncle Xi.”

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There are few things less threatening than the rolly polly yellow bear known as Pooh . Maybe a cotton ball would be less baneful (though undoubtedly more triggering to certain leftists). Though to communists, all things are harmful if they make jest of their reigning piglet.

Chinese social messaging app WeChat removed animated gifs of the bear over the weekend. Sina Weibo, the nation's platform which has been likened to Twitter China 's refusal to release the film was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter. The move will come as a shock, since China is the world's

We can exploit Xi’s fear to gain leverage — and maybe to chip away at Chinese nationalism just a little bit — with three steps.

First, raise China’s blocking of outside news sites and social media platforms as a trade issue before the World Trade Organization. In a new book, “Schism,” about China and global trade, Paul Blustein explains how the U.S. could join with other countries to make such a trade case based on the W.T.O. agreement. Trade experts aren’t sure the case would succeed, but it’s worth trying.

a group of people standing in front of a fence: Protesters in Hong Kong last year used a Winnie-the-Pooh doll to taunt President Xi Jinping. © Vincent Yu/Associated Press Protesters in Hong Kong last year used a Winnie-the-Pooh doll to taunt President Xi Jinping.

A second step the United States should take is to invest more in internet circumvention technologies to help ordinary Chinese vault the Great Chinese Firewall and read uncensored news. The U.S. spends more than $700 million a year on broadcast programs to sometimes-obscure parts of the world, but only tiny sums to help citizens of closed countries access the free internet.

Richard Stengel, a former under secretary of state who was involved in these programs, told me that he generally agreed that the U.S. should invest more in circumvention technologies. “It aligns with American values,” he said. “I’d be in favor.”

Hong Kong to ban protesters from wearing masks

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The Chinese name for Winnie the Pooh (Little Bear Winnie) is being blocked on Chinese social media sites because bloggers have been comparing the plump bear to China 's President Xi Jinping, the BBC reports. Animated GIFs of the character were deleted from the app WeChat, and those who comment

GIFs of Winnie the Pooh have been deleted off China ’s instant messaging app WeChat, and trying to compose a message mentioning the bear will grant you Like Xi, Pooh has a rotund face and nose, and netizens have been taking split-screen pics of the two making similar poses, including one of

Some American officials I’ve spoken with worry that this would enrage Xi. Yes, it might. Frankly, it’s also not clear that many Chinese want to access the outside internet, for they don’t much use tools like Ultrasurf and Psiphon that already enable them to do so (with a bit of difficulty).

Those are fair concerns, but I worry even more about the rise of nationalism in China inculcated in part by the Communist Party’s education system and propaganda machine. I’ve seen over the decades how a freer flow of information eventually can liberate minds and peoples, and the world would be better off if that process unfolded in China. Chinese President Xi Jinping. © AP Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Then there’s a third step, still more delicate and dangerous: The American intelligence community should gather information on the corruption in the Xi family that has allowed it to amass a huge fortune — with a hint that if China undertakes a brutal crackdown of Hong Kong or an assault on Taiwan, this information will slip out. This is what Xi fears most, and we shouldn’t pass up that leverage.

I love China and believe in engaging it. We should try to work out a trade deal and cooperate on issues from climate change to drug trafficking. But let’s push back when Xi tries to stifle free discussion not only in China but also in America.

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Comparisons between Xi and Pooh first emerged in 2013, after Chinese social media users began circulating pictures of Pooh and his slender tiger On Monday, many Chinese social media users were testing the boundaries of the restrictions imposed on the bear who groans “oh, bother” when

The sanitizing has included many images of Winnie the Pooh — Mr. Xi is sometimes likened to the cartoon bear — and search terms like When reports mention the change, they argue that term limits should be eliminated to ensure leadership continuity at a time when China has ambitions to challenge

Otherwise, if American business continues to kowtow, some day there may be a knock on the door, and there’ll be “Uncle Xi” sternly asking us to hand over Pooh Bear.

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