Sun Tzu’s art of . . . quilt folding?

On May 1 and 2, 2012, in the midst of an ongoing standoff between China and the Philippines over the Huangyan Islands in the South China Sea, Chinese online chat rooms and social media (examples here and here) buzzed with satirical posts about the People’s Liberation Army and a series of public quilt folding exercises publicized by official media in recent years. Chinese internet users quipped that China was invincible as its military excelled in the art of quilt folding, not to be bested by any military in the world. This post on one chat room gathers together scores of photos — indeed hilarious — of Chinese soldiers and officers seemingly preoccupied with quilt folding, while soldiers from the United States seem correspondingly undisciplined with regard to bedding and obsessed with weaponry. In this cartoon, shared by artist Kuang Biao (邝飚) and others through Sina Weibo — we’re not sure yet exactly who is responsible — a diminutive spear wielding warrior called “Xiao Fei” (小菲), a reference to the Philippines, looks on in disbelief as an oversized People’s Liberation Army soldier explains: “Xiao Fei! A truly awesome military is not about subduing others with force of weaponry. Come here! Fold a quilt and let me have a look!”

[Backup PDF of Luo.bo forum with images of Chinese and U.S. military: bedding and supremacy_luo.bo 5.2.2012]

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