Chinese Cartoon Mocking The G7 Goes Viral (But Not In The West)
The tables are turned as concerns satire’s targets
At Silk Road Briefing Mansions, we always feel a bit of humor is required especially when dealing with today’s contemporary political problems and global fracturing. While we usually stick to serious subject matters, satire can be a useful way to describe events, and can be funny whether or not one agrees with the content.
Accordingly, we feature, as it is related to the Belt and Road Initiative, a Chinese cartoon mocking the Group of Seven (G7) members that has gone viral on Chinese social media.
Titled “The Last G7”, the illustration, published by its author “Bantonglaoatang” on Sina Weibo, was painted based on the renowned religious mural The Last Supper. The G7 summit has been widely seen as an attempt by the US to rally allies against China, and has been described, even in Western media, as out of date and anachronistic.
Like the final meal Jesus shared with his apostles before his crucifixion that The Last Supper depicted, Bantonglaoatang painted a vivid picture of nine animals – respectively representing the US, the UK, Italy, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, and India – sitting around a table with a Chinese-map-shaped cake on it. On top of the painting is the words in quote: Through this we can still rule the world.
These animals have different facial expressions and gestures, implying that each side of the G7 has its own axe to grind on the common theories of suppressing China and upholding Western ‘values’.
Wearing a bowler hat with an American flag on it, a bald eagle sits in the middle like Jesus in The Last Supper, obviously the convenor of the meal. In front of the bald eagle, there is a small banknote printing machine and a bill on the table. The machine is printing toilet paper into dollars, and the number on the bill gets bigger and bigger – from $2 trillion to $8 trillion.
There is also an iron hook under its feet, and two pieces of cotton with blood near its hands on the table, suggesting “the US’ capital accumulation was built on racial oppression.
The bald eagle image shows today’s aggressive, US is trapped in its growing debt crisis and racial conflicts, but still points fingers at China.
Sitting on the left of the bald eagle is a grey wolf, wearing a cap with an Italian flag on it. The wolf waves its hands as the apostle Andrew in The Last Supper, as if saying “No” to the US’ suggestions of jointly cracking down on China. The grey wolf image shows Italy, the first European country that joined the Belt and Road Initiative as reluctant to collaborate with the US in suppressing China.
Next to the wolf is an Akita dog that represents Japan. Without a seat, it is busy serving the others a “drink” – pouring green radioactive water into the glasses of the other animals. That represents the contaminated water that Japan plans to release to the Pacific from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant.
Sitting next to the dog is a kangaroo, which is stretching its left hand to the banknotes that the US is printing, while grasping a bag in its right hand. The kangaroo symbolizes the two faces of an Australia which actively cooperates with the US in containing China but is also eager to earn money from China.
On the left corner stands a black hawk, representing Germany: its pose is similar to that of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany, similar to the rooster (representing France) sits in silence on the right side, apparently more interested in its own European issues than in the US.
On the right side of the table also sits a lion and a beaver, respectively representing the UK and Canada, both close US Five Eyes allies. The beaver, wearing a red coat with images of marijuana on it, holds a doll in its hand, representing Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, still detained in Canada.
On the right corner of the table sits an elephant (representing India) that is on an IV drip, representing the country as seriously ill – both in terms of covid and its economy.
Under the table there is a frog holding banknotes in its hands, trying to jump as high as possible to reach the table and give the money to the US. The little frog symbolizes Taiwan.
Readers can make up their own minds as to the humor involved, which evokes the great American and British cartoonists of the previous century, many of which poked fun at China. 100 years on, the tables, even in satire, have turned. We reproduce a selection below.
Silk Road Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Asia, and assists foreign investors into the region. For strategic advisory and business intelligence issues please contact the firm at email@example.com or visit www.dezshira.com