Middle-aged men around the world know it’s difficult to stay in shape, and even more difficult to hide it. For Chinese President Xi Jinping, it becomes even more of a problem if your waistline becomes a hot topic on the internet.
State censors have banned publication of a letter written by a nine year-old Henan boy that suggests President Xi lose weight after it went viral last night.
Niu Ziru, a grade four student at the Best International School in Zhengzhou, wrote the letter as part of a writing contest. Never intended to be sent to President Xi, Ziru’s father thought the letter was amusing enough to share on the WeChat social networking platform.
The letter talks about the international space race to get to Mars, and urges President Xi to choose the red planet over the moon as a destination for a space expedition. However, Ziru then changes the subject and makes an appeal to President Xi to lose weight.
“Uncle Xi, you could lose some weight. [You] don’t have to look as slim as [US President Barack] Obama. It’s all right to look like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” the letter wrote.
The Zhengzhou Evening News picked up on the story after it spread on WeChat, and the story begun running nationally until state censors shut it down.
The Chinese media are quite enamored with any personal Xi Jinping news. Not long after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin put a coat on the shoulders of Xi’s wife, Peng Liyuan, President Xi was photographed helping Peng walk through a door on a ship.
Furthermore, the marriage between Xi and Peng was celebrated as an ideal model in a music video called Daddy Xi Loves Mummy Peng that received 20 million hits within its first five days online.
Photos: cntv, scmp