In this Nov. 20, 2018, activists protest China's claims in the country’s territorial waters as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit.
Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV
Winnie the Pooh nowhere to be found at actual rallies against Xi in Manila
(philstar.com) - November 21, 2018 - 6:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — As popular fictional character Winnie the Pooh memes filled social media feeds in the Philippines, the cartoon bear was conspicuously absent at street demonstrations against Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to Manila.

Banners and posters protesters raised did not bear any images of the insightful Pooh despite calls to twit Xi, who famously has an aversion toward the cartoon character.

Filipino online users over the weekend urged fellow netizens to protest Xi’s presence by posting photos and memes of Pooh. The self-described “bear of very little brain” has been used in the past on social media to poke fun at Xi.

READ: #XiJinPooh: Filipinos flood social media with Pooh memes as Xi visits Manila

Hashtag “XiJinPooh” also trended thanks to the online protest.

Xi and Pooh were first compared in 2013, after Chinese social media users began circulating a pair of pictures that juxtaposed an image of Pooh and his slender tiger friend "Tigger" next to a photograph of Xi walking with then-US President Barack Obama.

In 2014, a photographed handshake between Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was matched with an image of Pooh gripping the hoof of his gloomy donkey friend Eeyore.

The political analysis portal Global Risk Insights called a picture of Xi standing up through the roof of a parade car paired with an image of a Winnie the Pooh toy car "China's most censored photo" of the year in 2015.

Several Filipinos disapprove of Xi’s visit as many resent Beijing’s claim over most of the South China Sea. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 ruled that China’s claim has no basis.

Due to this, Xi’s state visit was unwelcomed by several groups and prompte protests in Manila including the areas near China’s Embassy, Supreme Court, Mendiola and University of the Philippines.

The public call online, which highlighted Xi as Pooh, however, did not translate in the public protests organized by various militant groups.

Former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, who joined one of the anti-China’s protest said the public should not insult the fictional book character.

“Huwag nyo namang insultuhin si Winnie the Pooh. #AtinAngPinas #ChinaLayas,” Casiño tweeted.

— Agence France-Presse with a report from Rosette Adel

Related video:

SOUTH CHINA SEA WINNIE THE POOH XI JINPING XI JINPING PHILIPPINE VISIT
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