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What’s not to like about Winnie the Pooh?

BEIJING (AsiaNews): Wang Xiaochuan, the chief executive of the web search engine Sogou, posted a seemingly innocent image of Winnie the Pooh on his Weibo account on July 15, but it attracted a lot of surprised attention, as the image has been banned in China since 2013.
 
The loveable bear from the stories by A. A. Milne and the animated movies from Disney Studios is regarded as an offensive character by Chinese censors because of its physical resemblance to the president, Xi Jinping.
 

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The dilemma of no one left to vote for

HONG KONG (SE): In response to the question, “Who won the presidential election in France on May 6?” a reader glued to The Global Times on the mainland could well be forgiven for answering, “China!”
 
The paper trumpeted the success of Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen as a victory for human civilisation, which can be credited with doing much to turn back the encroaching attack on humanity, which it also implied is being led by the likes of Le Pen.
 

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New Year with Xi Jinping

BEIJING (SE): Standing before a mural of the Great Wall for his end of year address on December 31, the president of China, Xi Jinping, said his administration had resolutely defended its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights during the past year.

“If anyone makes this an issue of question, the Chinese people will never agree!” he said in a noticeably higher pitch than the rest of his 10-minute address.

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Open letter to Xi on human rights

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): More than 100 authors from around the world have signed a letter addressed to the president of China, Xi Jinping, asking him to stop repressing writers in the country and to address the human rights violations being perpetrated against them.

The letter was delivered on the World Day for Human Rights, December 10.

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Pope’s gift from China

ROME (SE): The gift from China that Pope Francis spoke of with journalists during his return flight to Rome from Baku in Azerbaijan on October 2 is a silk print drape inscribed with ideogrammes from the historical Christian Stele of Xi’an.

It depicts the long narrative inscribed on the famous stele, which is also referred to as the Nestorian Stele, which dates back to 781 during the Tang Dynasty, and documents the first 150 years of the presence of Nestorian Christians in the Middle Kingdom.

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Pope receives gift from Xi Jinping

HONG KONG (SE): “And the Chinese president sent me a gift. They are good relations,” Pope Francis told an inflight media conference on his way back to Rome from Georgia and Azerbaijan on October 2.

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Vatican walks a diplomatic tightrope

HONG KONG (SE): A talk given by the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, in the Italian town of Pordenone on August 27 was described by Francesco Sisci, from Renmin University in Beijing, as a hint to how much the Vatican is prepared to suffer in order to achieve peace and establish a more workable relationship with China.

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Tweaking Church teaching with Chinese characteristics

CHONGQING (UCAN): A conference was held in July this year involving the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China at which each seminary on the mainland was required to present a paper explaining how the recommendations of the Central Disciplinary Committee of the Communist Party, published subsequent to its inspection of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, are being implemented.

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A battle to usurp a memory

SHANGHAI (SE): Always a controversial figure, the late Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian trod a difficult and delicate path in Shanghai, initially as the rector of the newly-reopened Sheshan Seminary and then as an illicitly ordained bishop.

Embraced by some and ostracised by others, he once said, “I try to keep the Vatican happy and I try to keep the government happy, without really succeeding at either.”

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The downside of corruption purges

BEIJING (AsiaNews): They drown themselves in rivers; drink poison; jump from bridges or the upper floors of their offices.

A rising number of worried bureaucrats from the Chinese Communist Party are choosing to take their own lives rather than face a corruption investigation.

This has proved to be an unwanted by-product of the anti-corruption campaign launched by the current president, Xi Jinping.

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