Taiwan Air Force Badge With Xi Caricature Goes Viral
Taiwan air force badge with Xi caricature goes viral!Taiwanese citizens have been purchasing patches that show a Formosan black bear punching Winnie the Pooh, symbolizing China’s leader, Xi Jinping, as a sign of resistance against China's military exercises.
This follows the start of China's three-day military drills around Taiwan, with warnings from the Chinese Communist Party that military action against Taiwan remains an option.
Despite Chinese censorship efforts to block representations of Winnie the Pooh online, Taiwanese designer Alec Hsu has been selling the patch for over a year, with increased orders since the photo of the patch on the arm of a pilot inspecting a fighter jet was published by Taiwan’s military newsagency last weekend.
“I wanted to boost the morale of our troops through designing this patch,” said Hsu, who owns Wings Fan Goods Shop. He said he has ordered more patches to meet the increased demand, with customers including both military officers and civilians.
The patch depicts an angry Formosan black bear holding Taiwan’s flag and punching Winnie the Pooh, with the slogan “Scramble!”, a reference to the frequency of Chinese aircraft in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
Taiwan’s air force said it does not encourage its members to wear the patch, which is not a part of their uniform, but it will maintain an open attitude to anything that raises morale.
China’s Communist Party claims Taiwan as its territory and has not ruled out taking the island by force. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s sovereignty claims, saying only Taiwan’s people can decide their future.
Over the weekend, China began three days of military drills around Taiwan, which focused on practicing “maritime blockades” and “targeted ambush assaults on enemy mooring vessels” in the Taiwan Strait, as well as northwest, southwest, and waters east of Taiwan.
Taiwan’s badges of Winnie the Pooh being punched are a hit | Al Jazeera Newsfeed
Analyst Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, said the People’s Liberation Army was likely practicing aerial coordination and joint operations required to initiate a blockade of Taiwan’s ports and air lanes.
The US is legally obligated to provide Taiwan with defensive weaponry through the Taiwan Relations Act but has been deliberately vague about whether it would defend Taiwan in the event of an attempted Chinese attack.
Where can we get a patch like that! Guaranteed to be best sellers!- Tweet from Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the United States
Despite the protests, Beijing continued to promote videos and commentary about its drills around Taiwan. A Chinese blockade of Taiwan could choke off supplies coming into the island, including any military aid or other shipments from the United States or its partners.