Trump G7 photo triggers meme explosion in China
Published: Jun 11, 2018 03:23 PM

Chinese netizens are mocking this photo released by the office of Angela Merkel of the G7 summit in Canada. Photo:IC

A G7 photo of a stern-looking Angela Merkel staring at a seated Donald Trump with crossed arms has triggered waves of memes on Chinese cyberspace as net users compare the strained atmosphere at G7 with the cooperative spirit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The photo was first posted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office on Instagram on Saturday when the Group of Seven Summit brought together world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The photo shows Merkel standing along with other world leaders, with both of her hands on top of a narrow desk while staring at a seated Trump with crossed arms.

The apparent tension in the G7 photos has immediately attracted net users' attention and triggered various memes on social media. In one of the memes, images of Merkel, Trump and Abe were photoshopped into the painting Last Supper where Merkel and Trump stare at each other from each side of Jesus Christ.

"Ordinary Chinese don't care about G7 but the photo triggered interest among Chinese netizens," Liu Weidong, a research fellow at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

"The photo presents an unequal and antagonistic G7 group. It's complicated. Each leader shows a distinct personality - Germany challenging the US, and Abe being submissive to Trump," Liu said.

Chinese netizens also compared the photo with one from the SCO summit showing Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders from SCO member nations smiling.

The WeChat account of People's Daily released the two photos together in one article, titled "Two summits in one day, two photos, huge difference." The article has been viewed over 100,000 times.

A WeChat user said, "This is the difference between a responsible power and an irresponsible power. A responsible nation is always respected by others."