‘Winnie the Pooh’ Banished from Madrid to Avoid Offending Xi Jinping

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Chinese President Xi Jinping Visited Spain On Thursday For Talks With Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Prompting Spanish Police To Banish A Street Performer Dressed As Beloved Children’s Character Winnie The Pooh From Madrid’s Sol Square.

Pooh suddenly became problematic because his likeness has been used in viral memes considered insulting to China’s authoritarian leader.

“I didn’t make a fuss about it. It was only 20 or 30 minutes. If it’s offensive, I understand that they would ask me to step aside,” the performer told reporters, explaining that Pooh was kept under wraps just long enough for Xi’s motorcade to pass through the square without catching a glimpse of his copious golden posterior.

The Chinese government regards Pooh with the same disdain as a hive of honeybees because someone thought a photo of portly Xi strolling alongside former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2013 resembled Pooh strolling alongside his pal Tigger. Viral mockery struck a fever pitch the following year when Xi shook hands with a dour Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and the scene was compared to Pooh shaking hands with downbeat donkey Eeyore. – READ MORE

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