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Cartoon of hard-working Xi moves Chinese netizens

Chinese president inspecting a parade/FILE

Chinese president inspecting a parade/FILE

BEIJING, Feb – An online cartoon entitled “Where Has Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Time Gone?” has hit the headlines, depicting the leader’s hard work via cute animation.

It portrays Xi in a gray jacket and blue trousers with maps and charts featuring his busy schedules, including both domestic and foreign travels, the meetings he has presided over and his hobbies.

The cartoon, released by Beijing-based on Wednesday, has been much discussed in online forums, with “President Xi works too hard” and “the cartoon figure is so cute” typifying the comments.

Yang Mingxing, who is responsible for the cartoon, told Beijing News that her team was inspired to make the cartoon by comments Xi made at the Winter Olympic Games.

During his visit to Sochi for the opening ceremony of the Games, the president said in an interview with Russian media that he devoted most of his time to work while quoting a song named “Where Has Time Gone?” that was performed at this year’s Spring Festival gala.

According to the cartoon, since Xi was elected general secretary of the Communist party of China (CPC) Central Committee in November 2012, he has made 12 research trips throughout China, covering 11 provincial-level regions.

The cartoon also shows that Xi has spent 39 days on five trips overseas, covering 14 countries on five continents, since he took the helm as Chinese president in March 2013.

In 2013, Xi attended meetings on a monthly basis, with the number of such commitments peaking at six. The most important meetings have been the annual gatherings of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body.

Xi chaired the group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on 12 occasions, covering topics including anti-corruption drives, deepening reform and “cultural soft power.”

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During his tiny amount of spare time, Xi is a big reader and loves sports, turning his hand to swimming, climbing, ball games and martial arts, according to the cartoon.

In order to create a vivid image of the president, Yang’s team gathered a number of his pictures to “grasp his expressions and features.”

The clothes were based on his daily wear, and the cartoon figure stands with his feet pointing to different sides, an illustrators’ technique designed to make the image more cute and friendly.

A netizen with the screen name “Xiaodipanwuxianda” suggested on Twitter-like that the comic maker should make a series of such animations.

“Guduqiudan” wrote, “President Xi works really hard and I should be introspective about where my own time has gone.”

Zhu Lijia, professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that such cartoon imagery breaks the conventional mystery surrounding leaders of China and creates closer ties with the Chinese people.
It is a sign for Chinese society to be more open and confident, Zhu added.

In October last year, Xi appeared in cartoon form for the first time in a five-minute animation that compared China’s government system with that of the United States and Britain.

The video, produced by a studio called “On the road to revival,” featured stories about Xi, U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The animation surprised Internet users with its frankness on leaders with both Chinese and English versions, and has been viewed over two million times online.

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