US-Located Chinese Cop Shops Allegedly Targeted People For Comparing President Xi To Winnie The Pooh

from the Winnie-The-Party-Member dept

Perhaps you may have heard the DOJ recently arrested Chinese nationals and shuttered “Chinese police stations” located in New York following an investigation into the sort of foreign national work our government tends to find repulsive, even as it does the same thing elsewhere in the world.

It made all the papers, including the British ones.

Lu Jianwang, 61, and Chen Jinping, 59, both New York City residents, face charges of conspiring to act as agents for China and obstruction of justice.

They are expected to appear in a federal court in Brooklyn on Monday.

China has previously denied operating the stations, calling them “service centres” for nationals overseas.

Mr Lu of the Bronx and Mr Chen of Manhattan worked together to establish the first overseas police station in the United States on behalf of China’s Ministry of Public Security, the US Department of Justice alleged on Monday.

The outpost was closed in autumn of 2022, the department said, after those involved became aware of an FBI investigation into the station.

That China would seek to control residents who have strayed beyond its borders is unsurprising. The Chinese government has a firm grasp on pretty much fucking everything. However, those who are no longer subject to China’s pervasive surveillance network are more of a concern to a nation that has plenty of power but the thinnest of skin.

The thinnest skin belongs to President Xi Jinping, who has blown plenty of government resources preventing the spread of Winnie the Pooh images. This isn’t a newfound respect for intellectual property rights (tenuously) held by massive US corporations. This is just the state silencing the harmless residents who’ve noted the General Secretary’s resemblance to the pantsless bear a young British boy befriended following their encounter in a specifically sized forest.

Hidden within the indictments is a phrase the New York Post — the Fox News of New York City — has chosen to believe is at least part of the reason the Chinese government deployed nationals to police other nationals far beyond its borders. And that reason is… Winnie the goddamn Pooh:

China’s US police stations target anyone comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh

That’s the headline the so-called journalists at the Post have chosen to run with. The direct quote from the indictment doesn’t suggest this is actually the case. Instead, the quote simply recounts the sorts of things the Chinese government finds objectionable while stating its basis for the arrest of people who decided to handcraft their own episodes of “Law and Order: Special Pooh Bear Meme Victims Unit” on foreign ground.

“The CCP’s ‘unapproved’ topics include discussions about the overthrow of the CCP’s control of the PRC government and the statuses of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Republic of China—commonly referred to as Taiwan—to remarks on CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping’s apparent resemblance to the fictional cartoon character Winnie the Pooh,” says one of the indictments, charging ten suspects who allegedly used fake social media accounts to intimidate dissidents.

Well, duh. I mean, everyone has been talking about China and its censorship of Pooh memes for years now. That this was what these suspects were interested in is speculation that is wholly unsupported by the DOJ’s “this is what China does” boilerplate.

That being said, I will never pass up a chance to clutter up President Xi’s vanity searches with Pooh-related mockery. And there is no better example of that in recent news than the patches allegedly created by military surplus store owner to commemorate Taiwan’s extended middle finger to the autocratic interloper who refuses to acknowledge Taiwan is its own country, rather than just a Chinese subsidiary:

Demand has skyrocketed for a shoulder patch that shows Winnie-the-Pooh being punched in the face after a Taiwanese fighter pilot wore the design—an apparent dig at Chinese leader Xi Jinping—during China’s recent military drills around the island.

The uniform accessory caught the eye of Taiwan‘s public and observers abroad after Taipei’s Military News Agency published the photograph on April 9, on day two of the Chinese exercises. The picture showed a pilot performing preflight inspections of his IDF fighter aircraft at an undisclosed air base.

Here’s the photo released by Taiwan military press reps:

Zooming in:

Better quality images exist elsewhere on the net, but you get the gist: it’s a swift punch to Pooh’s (Xi’s) face, accompanied by the phrase “we are open 24/7.” Another variant contains the slogan “fight for freedom.” Either way, the message is clear. Taiwan’s military has no more respect for President Xi than many of his constituents. Not only is Xi the Pooh in this depiction, he’s getting his ass handed to him by a much more physically imposing bear.

Whether or not the stateside policing of foreign nationals by foreign nationals had anything to do with disrespectful memes is still open for debate. But either way, President Xi is not only Pooh, he’s a punchline. And he should never be allowed to forget it.

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