He has overseen continued Chinese growth and China’s growing influence on the global stage. And many Chinese people have supported his leadership—but now that support might be tested.
The ruling Communist Party changed the Chinese Constitution this week, removing term limits and effectively giving Xi the ability stay in power for the foreseeable future. This move has been largely unpopular, with many drawing parallels to the rule of Mao Zedong. In fact, limits had initially been implemented precisely to avoid cult of personality leadership after Mao’s death in 1976, following a 27-year rule.
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And so, to cut off any dissent following the announcement, Chinese censors upped their game, keeping an even more watchful eye on anything online that could be deemed subversive.
Among the ‘subversive’ content was the English letter ‘N,’ which was apparently briefly censored. The New York Times explains that it was intended to “preempt social scientists from expressing dissent mathematically: N > 2, with ‘N’ being the number of Mr. Xi’s terms in office.”
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Images of Winnie the Pooh were also blocked. The Chinese ruler has been likened to the cartoon bear in the past, with critics of Xi mocking him for having similar physical characteristics to the portly bear.