Tigers and Flies


Since coming to power in November last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping (习近平) has vowed to deal aggressively with corruption. During a meeting of top discipline inspection officials in January 2013, Xi said power must be “restricted by the cage of regulations.” He vowed to “strike tigers as well as flies,” meaning high officials as well as low. The results have been mixed, as the leadership continues to repress public calls for greater openness and transparency. In this cartoon, posted to Sina Weibo by artist Kuang Biao (邝飚) and called “Strike Them Together?”, an unwieldy life raft (the uneasy Chinese state) has three passengers: a spartanly dressed discipline inspection official bearing a club and a fly swatter, a hulking tiger (the Party), and a fly. The discipline inspection official holds a club and a fly swatter as he tries to row the raft in one direction. The tiger and the fly, who is sitting on the tiger’s lap, try to row the raft in another direction. Like a number of Chinese cartoons recently, this one makes visual reference to the book and film Life of Pi.

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