‘Invaders United Kingdom 1900’: Chinese cartoonist Wuheqilin mocks G7 meeting with new illustration
Published: May 07, 2021 03:20 PM Updated: May 08, 2021 08:51 PM
The satire illustration that Wuheqilin released on May 7, 2021. (photo: Weibo)

The satire illustration that Wuheqilin released on May 7, 2021. (photo: Weibo) G7 Photo: VCGA group photo of G7 delegates. Photo: VCG

"The last time when these guys colluded to [suppress] China was still in 1900; 120 years have passed, they are still dreaming," patriotic Chinese cartoonist Wuheqilin posted on social media, alongside his new satire illustration on Friday, comparing the meddling of the G7 (or Group of Seven)  in China's internal affairs to the notorious invasion of China by the Eight-Nation Alliance troops in 1900.

The illustration, looking like a yellowing old photograph, was painted based on a real group photo that the G7 Foreign Ministers and the High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs took in London on May 4 local time. It depicts eight people wearing old-style military uniforms and black face masks standing in the middle, and a man dressed in Indian garb and wearing a white mask in the left corner, who is on a drip, like a patient.

Chinese readers found that the eight people in the middle of the illustration, standing in the same positions as the eight officials in the May 4 photo, respectively symbolize Britain, the US, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, Italy and Austria-Hungary, which formed the invading troops to China some 120 years ago.

In his illustration, Wuheqilin candidly changed the words "United Kingdom 2021," shown on the background board in the actual May 4 photo, into "Invaders United Kingdom 1900."

The man in Indian clothing at the corner of the illustration represents India, which is not a G7 member but was invited to the meeting as a guest along with a few other countries including Australia, readers pointed out. 

The Indian man in the illustration holds an IV drip stand close to him, which allows readers to associate it with the severe COVID-19 situation in the South Asian country, which reported a record-high 414,188 confirmed new cases on Thursday.

It followed after India's foreign minister, and his entire team for the G7 talks in London, said they were self-isolating after two delegation members tested positive for coronavirus, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The meeting "was hit by a COVID-19 scare" after the two cases were reported, it said.

The illustration went viral on Chinese social media on Friday, generating more than 306,000 likes and 27,500 retweets within five hours on Twitter-like Weibo since Wuheqilin posted it. Many netizens applauded the satire piece for vividly revealing the ugly faces of some Western forces who have been attempting to bully and contain China over the century.

"Eight-Nation Alliance troops invaded China and looted and pillaged Beijing in 1900, when China was called 'Sick Man of East Asia;' but now times have changed, and China is no longer what she used to be," a Weibo user commented under the illustration. "Western forces, stop your daydreaming!" another user said. 

Some other users called the G7 meeting attendees "beasts in human dress," lashing out at the hypocrisy of G7 in grossly interfering in China's internal affairs, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with lies and groundless accusations under the guise of so-called "human rights."

A Wednesday-issued statement by the foreign ministers of G7 countries tried to reaffirm their leadership by outlining China and Russia as "threats" and listing issues regarding China's Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan, but no concrete steps of confrontation were disclosed.

The G7 foreign ministers' meeting launched groundless accusations against China, blatantly interfered in China's internal affairs and engaged in anachronistic bloc politics, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Thursday. "This is gross interference in China's sovereignty, flagrant trampling on norms of international relations and [a] violation of the trend toward peace," Wang noted.

Weibo users also heatedly discussed the Indian man being on a drip alone in the illustration. They criticized Indian authorities for still painstakingly trying to ride on the G7's coattails to suppress China, regardless of the tens of thousands of domestic lives being lost as a result of the current COVID-19 outbreak at home.

"India, be realistic and take more care of your own people first," some Chinese Weibo users commented. 

India recorded 3,915 COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, according to the health ministry data. It was the 10th consecutive day that the number of fatalities identified in a 24-hour period exceeded 3,000, said a Times of India report.