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Chinese leader a Game of Thrones fan? Xi quotes show, watches special ‘diamond’ version – report

Chinese leader a Game of Thrones fan? Xi quotes show, watches special ‘diamond’ version – report
Chinese President Xi Jinping loves to watch the fantasy TV series Game of Thrones, but believes the brutal fictional world of Westeros shouldn’t become a template for international relations, a local paper has reported.

HBO’s fantasy drama, based on ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R. R. Martin, is as much a smash hit in China as anywhere else around the globe, despite local viewers being shown an edited version with less sex and violence.

With the show in its final season, it appears that even the Chinese leader has been unable to resist the phenomenon. However, due to his extremely busy schedule, Xi has a special – even more condensed – cut of the show prepared for him, an unnamed government official told South China Morning Post. “We call it the diamond version,” he said.

The Chinese leader recently showed his affection for GOT in public, telling his aides and foreign guests at a Beijing meeting that “we must all make sure the world we live in does not descend into the chaotic warring seven kingdoms of Westeros,” the source recalled.

Luckily, Xi has Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang to discuss the latest episodes with, as Li has apparently been watching too. The premier mentioned Game of Thrones during a recent summit in Dubrovnik – the ancient Croatian port town that served as the set for King’s Landing, the capital of Westeros, in the American show.

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“While [Game of Thrones] is reaching its end, the new round of 16+1 [Central and Eastern European countries + China] cooperation is beginning… because this is not a ‘game,’ but a reflection of win-win cooperation,” Li said.

Curiously, George R. R. Martin’s books, which describe a medieval society (plus magic and dragons), mention the eastern empire of Yi Ti, ruled by god-emperors and clearly inspired by Imperial China. This land was never visited by the Game of Thrones characters on TV. One has to wonder, could the enthusiasm of top Chinese officials see the country’s Ministry of Culture sponsoring a Yi Ti-based spinoff of the cult show?

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