Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has been depicted by a satirist as cartoon character Piglet – a close friend of Winnie the Pooh – after she walked alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge on Tuesday. Children’s favourite Pooh bear is often compared to Xi owing to a supposed resemblance.
The bridge project has been widely criticised by the public for being too expensive, late, harmful to the environment and for the high death toll of those who worked on the project.
At the ceremony on Tuesday morning, Xi and Lam – who wore a pink suit – walked side by side when entering the venue. They were followed by state leaders and Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui. Xi and Lam also walked side by side as they left the venue.
Leung Pak-kin, a lyricist known for posting parody songs and images online, shared a photo of the scene, as well as images of Piglet and Pooh with each other.
“Revealing the hidden character, Piglet,” Leung said on Facebook.
Leung’s post also contained satirical hashtags such as “a favourite for Halloween this year,” as well as “cyberbullying” – referring to Lam’s claim that she had endured cyberbullying when speaking of her land reclamation plan.
Leung’s post received more than 3,000 reactions and was shared almost 1,000 times by 3pm.
In another post, Leung also depicted Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui as Eeyore, another character in the Winne the Pooh world. The picture was shared 250 times in two hours.
“The whole family is here – all three mascots of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge,” he wrote. “Its new name is – Bear-Pig-Donkey Bridge.”
After the ceremony, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung said the arrangement for Xi and Lam to walk side by side showed that the country attached importance to Hong Kong’s role.
Bruce Lui, a scholar and a former Chinese affairs journalist, said he believed that Xi arranged to walk alongside Lam, since Xi ranked much higher than her, and ranking was an important factor in the mainland’s political culture.
Lui told Apple Daily that Hong Kong had a unique place in the bridge project and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Beijing may have rethought Hong Kong’s role in light of the ongoing trade war.
“Beijing sees that – under all kinds of limitations – Hong Kong can do something that the mainland cannot do. Including the movement of funds, so that the mainland can set up companies in Hong Kong to introduce technologies, funds and cooperation with foreign countries,” he said.
Lui said the arrangement on Tuesday gave preferential treatment to Carrie Lam: “It was to show Lam’s authority through these acts, so that when Article 23 (the national security law) has to be enacted… she will have more authority.”