|Cartoon depiction of Xi’s path to power sets off debate over origins and purpose of clip
A five-minute animation featuring President Xi Jinping, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, has surprised internet for its frank approach.
The video about how state leaders made it to the top was uploaded online on Monday and has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times on Youku, one of the most popular Chinese video websites, Xinhua reported.
AFP reports that an English-language version has been watched more than 27,000 times.
It is the first time a Chinese leader has been featured in cartoon form.
The animation, with both Chinese and English versions, was produced by a studio called "On the road to revival," about which no more details are available.
Xi's story focuses on the selection process of China’s leaders, while comparing China's system with that of the United States and Britain.
Membership of the Communist Party is the first requirement to win the presidency in China, while decades of selections and tests lie ahead to determine whether one is fit to lead, according to the animation.
The video shows how Xi started at a primary-level office, similar to community councils in the West, and rose step by step to become general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and the country's president.
It took more than 40 years and 16 major job transfers before Xi became China's top leader, the animation shows. It stresses that for someone to make it to the top in China they need to keep gaining experience by winning posts at various levels.
The hard work involved in reaching China's presidency is like “the training of a kung fu master,’’ it says. “As long as people are satisfied and the country develops and progresses as a result, it's working,'' the narrator states, AFP reports.
In the United States, according to the video, becoming president is tougher than winning “American Idol'', involving “a super-complex business'' in which candidates must put together a campaign team, deliver speeches and raise money.
“Without a glib tongue, extraordinary stamina and, most importantly, an unending flow of greenbacks, no one can ever pull through it,'' notes the narrator, over an image of Obama and his vanquished rival Mitt Romney sitting on piles of dollar bills.
The path to becoming British prime minister, the cartoon goes on, includes ascending to the leadership of one's political party and then clinching a parliamentary majority.
“That chance is way narrower than Susan Boyle had at winning 'Britain's Got Talent','' says the narrator, as the video contrasts British Prime Minister David Cameron with the distinctive talent show contestant, AFP reports.
The animation portrays other Chinese leaders taking a similar path from the bottom.
“Whether by a single ballot that gets the whole nation out to vote or by meritocratic screening that requires years of hard work like the making of a kung fu master, as long as people are satisfied and the country develops and progresses as a result, it's working," it concludes.
The animation, the first of its kind in China, has been applauded by internet users.
“Asayake-Xiozhu," a user of Sina Weibo, said the video was a sign of the new leadership showing their openness.
“It's a rare change to hear different voices in a country where people grow up listening to just one voice," said "Mili06," another Sina Weibo user.
The video's source has also provoked speculation. “Wenhuafaxian," on Sina Weibo, said that it was probably made by official agencies as information in the video was very credible.
Some internet users also speculated that the "bold" clip probably serves as a tool to show a gesture of political reform ahead of November's Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee.