Paint on a Smile!


Some Chinese commentators — including, for example, Larry Lang, a well-known economist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong — that China suffers from an irrational optimism about its own present and future that is conditioned by state propaganda and a deep-seated propensity toward denial. Lang argues in his most recent book, China’s Economic on the Brink of Danger, that China’s arrogant denial of systemic problems in its economy and political system is one of its greatest weaknesses. In this cartoon, posted by artist Kuang Biao (邝飚) to Sina Weibo via his latest account (many previous ones have been removed), China is represented by a figure covered from head to toe in bandages, crippled by a thousand cuts, injuries and ailments. The only part of the figure’s body that is unscathed is its right hand, which it uses to paint a red smile over its mouth with a pen.

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