Toying with China? Pompeo photo of dog & Winnie the Pooh teddy bear sparks online speculation
US Secretary of State Pompeo posted a photo of his dog, Mercer, surrounded by all her “favorite toys” to his Twitter page on Tuesday evening, kicking off numerous conspiracy theories thanks to the inclusion of a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal.
Mercer and all of her favorite toys! 🐶 pic.twitter.com/bGal0ui6E2— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) July 15, 2020
While it would seem an innocuous picture, Winnie the Pooh is a derogatory nickname that has been used to describe Chinese President Xi Jinping. The term has gained such widespread popularity that it has even been censored on Chinese social media, making it likely Pompeo is aware of the reference.
The nickname gained attention in 2013 after critics of the president began sharing memes using the reference as a way to criticize Xi without blowback or censorship.
Comments on the tweet were quick to point out the connection.
Pooh looks a little discombobulated there. pic.twitter.com/O9jxWd4GeR— ILOVETheDonald (@CatalogueDonald) July 15, 2020
The inclusion of Pompeo’s dog in the picture also could be a reference to the US’ increasingly antagonistic attitude toward China, a nation President Donald Trump has criticized since he was first running for office in 2016.
The president and many in his administration have since criticized China for their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is believed to have originated in the city of Wuhan, and their treatment of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. Beijing’s influence in East Asia can also be seen as a threat to the US’ economic and political interests.Also on rt.com Trump signs executive order and bill targeting China over Hong Kong, strips city of preferential treatment
The Pompeo photo comes on the heels of an executive order from Trump that will suspend previously held special treatment for Hong Kong in regards to trade and other matters. The president also announced he had signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act on Tuesday, which aims to put sanctions on politicians and banks threatening the autonomy of Hong Kong and the rights of its people.
China has blasted the move as “gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs.”Also on rt.com Beijing vows tit-for-tat sanctions & says retaliation INEVITABLE unless US changes course after Trump signs new HK legislation
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