An image of Chinese President Hu Jintao at a G20 group photo shooting scene touched the hearts of thousand of netizens. Since 9 pm last night, the image has been reposted over 113 thousand times and attracted about 2000 comments.
“Group photo shooting at G20. National flags were used to tag standing positions. The heads of many countries simply stamped on the national flag of their countries. After the photo was taken, the group left, treading through these flags. All but the Chinese flag have been stepped upon. It’s because her master bent over, picked and packed her up.”
99% of the 200o comments left to this post are shouts of “Bravo” or “Love you. Brother Hu.” Many called it an “epic moment” that is “trivia” but has the power to “move the entire nation.” As one netizen 王强YZZ commented; “A good government official is in the detail. The care President Hu showed in the image proves that he is worth my love.” Some even take it as a moment of pride for the country: “A touching small detail from a big boss…No matter how bad the system is and how corrupted some officials are. China is a country to be proud of.”
Such an image of Hu is very different from his past image of “the God of facial paralysis (面瘫帝)”, dubbed by netizens due to his lack of facial expressions.
Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin vs. current Chinese President Hu Jintao
But apparently, netizens are too quick to feel touched. When the image hit news paper headlines this morning, people started to question whether it was really the Chinese national flag that Hu picked up.
Frontpage headline on Beijing Youth, “President Hu picked up Chinese national flag.”
Later, a video clip was upload to show what was really going on at the scene. Since the video was already deleted on its hosting website in China, a link from Youtube is provided below.
It seems that the whole incidence may be a “beautiful” misunderstanding – Hu might simply take off a piece of paper that has stuck on his shoe. More interesting is the 180-degree change of Chinese netizen reactions. Opposite to the overwhelming “Bravo” comments to the earlier post, almost every single post with the image now is flooded with comments from cynical netizens who call Hu’s action a show and the “truth” a slap on the face of those “stupid patriots.”
There are, of course, the less extreme who think the media has made too big of a deal out of something very common and thus made a fool of themselves. But either way, as netizen 那边_风景 said: “It doesn’t matter whether it was the Chinese national flag that Hu picked up. The dignity of a country cannot be demonstrated in such a trivia action. Human rights, culture and democracy are more important.”