Chinese president Xi Jinping emperor photo lands The Economist in hot water

Xi Jinping emperor photo lands The Economist in hot water

Staff Reporter, 2013-05-07


Xi Jinping as Qianlong, left, and a previous cover from The Economist likening Xi to an emperor in waiting in October 2010. (Photos courtesy of The Economist)

A doctored photo featuring China’s new president, Xi Jinping, wearing a traditional emperor’s robe is said to have deeply offended the Communist Party leadership. Xi, who is also the party’s general secretary and commander of the People’s Liberation Army, was featured on the front page of the May issue of The Economist magazine wearing a yellow robe with an illustrated dragon on the chest, and a glass of champagne in hand. “Let’s party like it’s 1793,” reads the magazine’s headline, a reference to the year the Qing emperor Qianlong rejected British envoy Lord Macartney’s request to open an embassy because China does not have “the slightest need for your country’s manufactures.” The title of the feature article is “Xi Jinping and the China dream,” and questions exactly what Xi means by his new doctrine, noting that it seems to “include some American-style aspiration, which is welcome, but also a troubling whiff of nationalism and of repackaged authoritarianism.” The article, which outlines the difficulties Xi faces in realizing his dream of unifying a diverse and growing China, seems to have hit a nerve with the Communist Party, as The Economist’s website was blocked in the country shortly after its publication. Detractors of Xi’s regime have said online that his “China dream” and emperor’s robe are both figments of the imagination. Despite calls for more freedom and fairness, the Chinese government continues to target free speech and rights activists and remains plagued by official excess and corruption, netizens said.


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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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