After the Group of Seven (G-7) summit finished with a strong statement condemning the Chinese communist regime over its human rights abuses, a cartoon mocking the G-7 leaders went viral on Chinese social media. Chinese state-run media have promoted the satirical cartoon with nationalistic fervor, triggering a backlash from international media.
Netizen “Bantonglaoatang,” who is a digital painter and blogger on Chinese social media site Weibo, published a satirical cartoon titled “The Last G-7” on June 12, mocking the G-7 leaders participating in the summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom.
The cartoon is a parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” The leaders of the countries attending the G-7 are portrayed as their respective national animals wearing hats made from their national flags, plotting to “rule the world.” The animals are sitting by a dinner table with a Chinese map-shaped cake on it.
The bald eagle is the United States, the lion is the UK, the black hawk represents Germany, the Gallic rooster represents France, the wolf is Italy, the nutria is Canada, and the Akita dog is Japan. Australia and India that were invited to attend the G-7 summit and have tense relations with China recently, also appeared in the cartoon, portrayed as a kangaroo and a kneeling elephant. Taiwan is portrayed as a frog.
Chinese regime’s official mouthpiece Global Times published an article to introduce the cartoon to the public on June 13, when G-7 issued a statement saying it will take a tougher stance on China and investigate the origin of COVID-19. The article tries to stir up anti-west and nationalist sentiment among Chinese readers, describing the G-7 cartoon “mocking the bloc’s attempt to suppress China.” The report also cited comments from young pro-communist Chinese on social media, praising the cartoon for “vividly revealing the evil intentions of the West that tries to lay a siege to China,” saying “this [G-7 summit] is probably their ‘last supper.’”
However, the cartoon triggered backlash from international media. UK media called the cartoon “eerie” “vicious,” and a “propaganda attack.” Voice of America (VOA) commented that the creator of the cartoon is a “wolf warrior” artist and the cartoon doesn’t help to create a more “lovable” image of China that the communist regime’s leader Xi Jinping recently required.
“Bantonglaoatang” is not the only Chinese “wolf warrior” artist to ridicule the G-7 leaders through cartoons. Another Chinese artist with the online name “Wuhe Qilin” portrayed the G-7 leaders in a style of historical photo from the Eight-Nation Alliance era. The date shows on the wall in the photo is “1900” and the title of it says “invaders.” It is implying that the current G-7 countries are still trying to invade and bring harm to China like more than 100 years ago, provoking the anti-west sentiments among Chinese people. “Wuhe Qilin” once called himself “the wolf warrior painter” on his Weibo account.
The VOA commented that if the country has too many “wolf warrior artists,” it’s really hard to create a “lovable” image of communist China.