China’s military declares it is ‘ready to fight’ after drills near Taiwan
Fox News’ Greg Palkot reports on Taiwan condemning China’s military drills.
Taiwanese citizens are rushing to buy a patch worn by members of its air force that mocks Chinese President Xi Jinping amid escalating tensions between the island and mainland China.
The patch shows a Formosan black bear, which is native to Taiwan, holding Taiwan’s flag while punching Winnie the Pooh, which Chinese dissidents have increasingly used to mock Xi due to his supposed resemblance to the fictional teddy bear.
The patch has the word, “SCRAMBLE!,” at the bottom, which appears to be a nod to the Taiwanese Air Force’s efforts to combat near-daily incursions by China’s military in recent months.
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Alec Hsu shows to the camera patches depicting a Formosan black bear holding Taiwan’s flag and punching Winnie the Pooh at his store in Taoyuan, Taiwan, April 10, 2023. (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
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Patches depicting a Formosan black bear holding a Taiwanese flag punching Winnie-the-Pooh at a shop in Taoyuan on April 11, 2023. (SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)
An image of a Taiwanese Air Force pilot wearing the patch was posted to social media last week.
“Where can we get a patch like that! Guaranteed to be best sellers!” Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the United States responded on Twitter.
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Chinese censors have increasingly cracked down on images that compare Xi to Winnie the Pooh in recent years. Last month, a horror film that features Winnie the Pooh was scrapped in Hong Kong and Macao.
China’s President Xi Jinping looks on as he attends a session during the G-20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Nov. 16, 2022. (WILLY KURNIAWAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images, File)
In 2018, Disney’s animated film “Christopher Robin,” which includes Winnie the Pooh as a prominent character, was denied release in Chinese theaters. That same year, China cut off access to HBO after host John Oliver criticized Xi for being sensitive to the comparisons.
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Alec Hsu, the designer of the patch that is now going viral in Taiwan, told Reuters that he started selling it in his shop last year and has seen a recent spike in orders.
“I wanted to boost the morale of our troops through designing this patch,” Hsu told the news outlet.
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Men wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes and masks depicting Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photo shoot of a graduation ceremony to support anti-government protest at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in Hong Kong, China Oct. 30, 2019. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu, File)
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A demonstrator carrying a Winnie the Pooh bear with a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping on it and holding a "Free Hong Kong" sign takes part in a protest against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit near the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center venue, at Asoke Junction, in Bangkok, Thailand Nov. 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva, File)
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A protester wearing a Winnie the Pooh and Xi Jinping mask during the demonstration. Protesters at Halloween march in Hong Kong island despite police banned rallies and confront them during the night. (Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Several dozen Chinese aircraft and naval ships staged military drills around Taiwan over the weekend, prompting the Taiwanese military to put their air force and navy on alert.
It comes after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen traveled to the U.S. last week to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other lawmakers.