Xi Jinping Grabs His Umbrella, Joins Occupy Central

With the magic of Photoshop, China's leader takes to the streets of Hong Kong with protesters
October 23, 2014 Updated: June 24, 2015

Occupy Central has brought out the creative best of Hong Kong’s netizens.

On Wednesday, Oct. 22, China’s state media group announced that a photograph of president Xi Jinping doing a site inspection in Wuhan won the National News Award, the country’s highest photojournalism prize.

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In the photo, Xi is dressed in a simple white collar shirt, has rolled up black trousers to keep them from getting wet, carries his own navy blue umbrella, and appears to be in consultation with a worker.

(“Back in Beijing, lopsided pants are all the rage…”)

There doesn’t seem to be anything special about Chinese “Pulitzer Prize” winning photo in either subject matter or technique, but that’s precisely why it won, according to Adam Taylor from the Washington Post and Matt Schiavenza from the Atlantic.

Both authors opine that the photo succeeds in portraying Xi as a down-to-earth, “average Joe” who can relate with the people, unlike the wealth-displaying, “princely” politicians — like the subject matter of the second place photo, former Chongqing boss Bo Xilai — that have been arrested as part of Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.

MORE: Even Kim Jong-Un is Laughing at Hong Kong’s ‘Mr. Rubbish Bin

(Bo Xilai, taken to task for not spotting lopsided pants. Kidding.)

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Hong Kong netizens probably couldn’t care less about Xi’s image management in China, but they didn’t pass up on the chance to re-appropriate a photo of the top China Communist Party (CCP) leader carrying the wet-weather implement that has become the symbol of their pro-democracy movement.

Check out the highlights of Xi Jinping “supporting” the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement with his “yellow” umbrella below.