Air Force Badge Depicting Xi As Pooh Goes Viral

(Photo by ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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A Taiwanese Air Force badge poking fun at Chinese President Xi Jinping and his likeness to Winnie the Pooh has gone viral online.

The patch, now being bought up by Taiwanese in droves, according to Reuters, depicts a Formosan black bear holding a Taiwanese flag punching Winnie the Pooh in the face. The iconic cartoon character has become something of a caricature for Xi among detractors, due to the leader’s uncanny resemblance to the animated protagonist.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) once again conducted aggressive military exercises around Taiwan beginning last week after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California as she traveled from Latin America back to Taipei. Chinese officials called the visit a “wrong move” after previously threatening to take strong measures in response to a possible meeting.

Alec Hsu designed the patch last year and has been selling it as his shop since, according to Reuters. Hsu says orders skyrocketed after the Taiwanese military shared a photo Saturday of a pilot inspecting a fighter jet while wearing the patch on his arm.

The Taiwanese Air Force doesn’t necessarily encourage the wearing of the patch, it told Reuters, but it is open to anything that uplifts morale. (RELATED: China Launches Simulated Attack Following Taiwanese President’s Meeting With Speaker McCarthy)

Winnie the Pooh has become a highly-censored symbol in China in recent years since activists began comparing the appearance of the overweight, pantless bear to Xi. Protesters from Taiwan to Hong Kong to the United States have shared signs and graphics making the comparison.