Putin’s charisma wows netizens

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/7 23:28:40

Putin tops list of China’s most revered foreign leaders: survey

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual televised phone-in with the nation in Moscow on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been steadily bringing China-Russia friendship to new heights for the past two decades, stands as one of the Chinese people's favorite foreign leaders, said Chinese experts on Thursday.

Millions of Chinese netizens have signed up to become Putin's legions of fans prior to the Russian leader's scheduled state visit to China from Friday to Sunday, according to a online survey launched by the China Media Group in May, Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.

It took only a week for some 10 million Chinese net users to participate in an online survey entitled "Who are Putin's fans," Shen Haixiong, President of the China Media Group, said during his exclusive interview with the Russian leader at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow on May 31.

According to China Radio International on May 30, citing a Russian media report published that day, 91.3 percent of respondents to the survey consider wisdom Putin's best trait, while 83.4 percent chose to tag the Russian leader as "iron-fisted."

Asked to choose a  "dream encounter" with Putin, 37.8 percent chose to take a picture with Putin, 29.9 percent chose getting a puppy from the dog-loving president and 22.47 percent chose wanting a hug from the Russian leader, CRI reported.

China's Putin fans have always appreciated him as more than a powerful leader, and have given him a number of flattering nicknames, including "Prince Charming" and even "super online sensation," mainly for his athletics and as someone who worked his way up to become so successful. 

It is safe to say that Putin has more supporters in China than any other foreign leader, Li Xing, director of the Eurasian Studies Center at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Putin is a great statesman who has revived the Russian people's hopes and faith after the disintergration of the Soviet Union, a 26-year-old Chinese returnee who studied International Relations overseas surnamed Yang told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Chinese people's friendly attitude toward Putin is related to the shared disgust of the arrogance of the West, because the West uses very similar measures to lecture and provoke both China and Russia. Putin has become an unyielding and tough political icon in resisting Western hegemony," Yang said.

"We like Putin, because the Western world is in awe of him," wrote a Sina Weibo user.

Ever since he took office two decades ago, Putin has been regarded as a leader who is creating China-Russia strategic ties, a truly faithful friend of China, which is most appealing to Chinese people, Li noted.

As a grass-roots serviceman, he has worked his way up to a position of ultimate power with great passion and loyalty for his country, Li said on Thursday.

Putin's versatility and healthy lifestyle have also impressed the Chinese people, Li noted.

Putin said during his exclusive interview with China Media Group that he works out for two and a half hours every day, lifting weights and swimming. He sometimes practices judo and occasionally plays ice hockey.

Welcome by Qingdao

During Putin's state visit to China, he is scheduled to attend the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao over the weekend.

Leaders of the eight SCO member states and the four observer states, as well as heads of international organizations will attend the summit to exchange views on cooperation.

Qingdao locals are looking forward to having their favorite foreign leader in town.

"We look forward to seeing Putin the most, the jet fighter-flying, submarine- and tank-driving Mr Know-it-all," a Qingdao taxi driver surnamed Feng told the Global Times on Thursday.

"I bet he will offer constructive thoughts on security and counter-terror cooperation during the SCO summit, and then have a taste of the local beer and seafood," Sun Shuwei, a Qingdao tourist guide, told the Global Times on Thursday.



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