Sino-US Relations: Pompeo’s pet dog and Pooh bear toy
A Twitter post by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked discussion and speculation as to whether he was sending a message to the Chinese government.
Pompeo posted a photo on his Twitter account, and his dog Mercer is surrounded by “all its favorite toys”, and in the middle of the pile of toys is a Winnie the Pooh Furry toy.
The tweet caused a lot of attention because it is known that the Winnie the Pooh is a derogatory nickname given to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Chinese netizens don’t like Pompeo, and describe him as a “liar” of “evil”.
However, Pompeo may also know that it is difficult for Chinese netizens to talk freely about his tweet, because remarks related to the Chinese leader’s nickname will be subject to strong scrutiny.
Sino-US Relations: The origins of Pooh
The Chinese government has been actively reviewing various negative comments or nicknames that may discredit CCP officials. However, Chinese netizens have long come up with various creative ways to refer to the Chinese leadership on the online platform.
Some online pictures in 2013 compared Xi Jinping’s figure with this cartoon bear, which attracted worldwide attention.
Because this cute cartoon image made it difficult for the reviewers to block all the relevant content for a while, the nickname quickly spread.
This strategy has also succeeded in the past. People can use “toad” or similar vocabulary to refer to the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Jiang Zemin.
Sino-US Relations：Sensitive Winnie the Pooh
For a long time, “Vini Bear” and similar claims have been censored on Chinese social media platforms.
Searching the word “Vini” on China’s Sina Weibo, now only government-licensed media or officially certified accounts will appear.
At the bottom of the Sina Weibo page, there will be a statement that “some similar results have been omitted.”
In 2019, China even removed the Taiwanese video game “Devotion” because it contains a hint that Xi Jinping can be compared to a Winnie the Pooh.
Sino-US Relations: Could Pompeo be unintentional?
The post may also be a photo of a Pompeio pet dog and toy with no other intention, but there are other noteworthy potential information in the photo.
Pompeo may refer to “dog” as the United States or his own reference, and the word “dog” in Chinese often implies some people or countries that are considered aggressive or barbaric.