Banking on Xi's image to ward off bulldozers

PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
A two-storey building in Shanghai came under the spotlight over the weekend. It was completely covered in posters of President Xi Jinping in what appeared to be a last-ditch attempt to escape demolition. The prefabricated building is believed to have
Policemen were photographed removing the posters of Mr Xi from the building.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A two-storey building in Shanghai came under the spotlight over the weekend. It was completely covered in posters of President Xi Jinping in what appeared to be a last-ditch attempt to escape demolition. The prefabricated building is believed to have been illegally constructed, reported Chinese media. A worker at a hotel across the street told news website Thepaper.cn that photos of the nation's leader were pasted on the building's exterior on Friday. Pictures of the property with Mr Xi's image plastered all over went viral after they were shared on social media, Thepaper.cn reported. However, later on Saturday, policemen were photographed removing the posters of Mr Xi from the building, reported the Sunday Morning Post yesterday.

One Chinese academic was quoted as saying the posters had been stuck all over the building in the same way images of gods are stuck on the doors of properties to ward off evil spirits. "Deep down, the psychological dynamics are the same here for the purpose of self-protection," Professor Chen Daoyin of the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law was quoted as saying. "They were trying to play on others' fear by demonstrating the symbol of a mighty ruling power." Thepaper.cn said that the building could be a covered farmers' market.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2016, with the headline 'Banking on Xi's image to ward off bulldozers'. Print Edition | Subscribe