A five-minute animation featuring stories about Chinese President Xi Jinping
, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, has surprised Internet users with its frankness on leaders.
The video about how state leaders make it to the top was uploaded online on Monday and has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times on Youku, one of the most popular Chinese video websites.
It is the first time a Chinese leader has appeared in cartoon images.
The animation, with both Chinese and English versions, was produced by a studio called "On the road to revival," about which no more details are available.
Xi's story focuses on the selection process of Chinese leaders while comparing China's system with that of the United States and Britain.
Membership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is the first requirement to win the presidency in China, while decades of selections and tests lie ahead to determine whether one is fit to lead, according to the animation.
The video shows how Xi started at a primary-level office, similar to community councils in the West, and rose step by step to become general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and the country's president.
It took more than 40 years and 16 major job transfers before Xi became China's top leader, the animation shows. It stresses that for someone to make it to the top in China they need to keep gaining experience by winning posts at various levels.
The animation portrays other Chinese leaders traveling a similar journey from the bottom.
"Whether by a single ballot that gets the whole nation out to vote or by meritocratic screening that requires years of hard work like the making of a kung fu master, as long as people are satisfied and the country develops and progresses as a result, it's working," it concludes.
The animation, the first of its kind in China, has been applauded by Internet users.
"Asayake-Xiozhu," a user of Twitter-like Sina Weibo, said the video was a sign of the new leadership showing their openness.
"It's a rare change to hear different voices in a country where people grow up listening to just one voice," said "Mili06," another Sina Weibo user, referring to the video's highlighting of other countries' political systems.
The video's source has also provoked speculation. "Wenhuafaxian," on Sina Weibo, said that it was probably made by official agencies as information in the video was very credible.
Some Internet users also speculated that the "bold" clip probably serves as a tool to show a gesture of political reform ahead of November's Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee