The huge, English language, official, government owned newspaper, The China Daily, subscribes to CagleCartoons, and we syndicate their lead cartoonist, Luojie. I have included a bunch of recent cartoons at the bottom of the page, from Luojie about the protests in Hong Kong. As we would expect, Luojie’s cartoons express the official view of the Chinese government, that the Hong Kong protesters are rioting terrorists.
Luojie‘s cartoons capture the tenor of the Chinese press reports and editorials about the Hong Kong “riots” which mention nothing about the protestors’ demands for continued autonomy and democracy, and have no mention of excessive violence by Hong Kong police that we are used to seeing in Western coverage. In fact, Luojie’s Hong Kong cartoons stand in stark contrast to all of the other cartoons from CagleCartoonists, and I would guess, from any editorial cartoonists outside of China.
I just got back from a couple of weeks visiting China for a big festival in the coastal city of Xiamen, put on by ASIFA China. I was invited to be a judge for their big cartoon competition.
They had two categories of judges for print and animation (I was on the print jury).
Here I am in the photo below, with my colleagues from both juries – that’s me in the center/front. The other Westerners are cartoon scholar John Lent on the far right, and Bosnian animator/DJ Berin Tuzlić behind me in the colorful shirt.
It took my jury three days of work to go through all the print submissions. The top prizes are $15,000.00 USD each, which is a hefty prize. I’m surprised that American cartoonists don’t enter this generous, annual competition. The Xiamen festival has invited a bunch of CagleCartoonists to be jurors in recent years, including Steve Sack, Bruce Plante, Milt Priggee and Pat Bagley. We all thought the competition and festival were great.
Like other cities in China, Xiamen looks brand new; it is busy, bustling and crammed full of tall skyscrapers. Xiamen is a small city by Chinese standards, with a population close to the size of Los Angeles, and it is home to lots of CGI animation studios.
I see Xiamen, and all of China, as a gastronomic adventure – eating is a joy in China!
I saw that the major Western news sites were blocked by China’s “Great Firewall” and I learned how to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to read the Western newspapers and download my podcasts through Japan. The TV in my hotel room included CNN International, which was running regular updates on the conflict in Hong Kong that were either entirely blacked out, or selectively blacked out, showing criticism of the protestors but going silent and black when each segment turned to criticism of the government or police.
China’s “One Country, Two Systems” plan for Hong Kong isn’t looking very good; China makes the same pitch to Taiwan – a pitch that isn’t very attractive right now as it looks more likely that Hong Kong will be fully consumed and digested into China’s communist system, as the protests continue and intensify. I didn’t find anyone in mainland China that agrees with me. The Chinese folks I talked to privately told me that they shared the official view that the Hong Kong protestors were terrorists that must be put down.
I’m disappointed that President Trump seems to side with the government in China against the protestors, even so, the official view in China is that America is “supporting the terrorists” in Hong Kong, as Luojie illustrates. Here’s Luojie‘s official take on the Hong Kong protests …