Music video of Chinese president Xi and wife goes viral; draws flak from some netizens

China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at Sydney airport before departing from Australia on Nov 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at Sydney airport before departing from Australia on Nov 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

A music tribute to the love between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan has gone viral online, but some netizens have mocked the video as cringeworthy and sycophantic

The Mandarin video, titled "Xi Dada Loves Peng Mama", roughly translated as "Uncle Xi loves Mother Peng", tells the story of Xi Dada who is "not afraid of heaven, not afraid of earth" and Peng Mama who likes beautiful flowers. Xi Dada loves Peng Mama and their love is legendary, according to the lyrics of the song.

The video shows still photographs and cartoon images of President Xi and his wife, complete with superimposed hearts.

The song was sung by two singers from central Henan province, who said they hoped to be invited to perform the song on a very widely watched show on state television celebrating the Spring Festival next year, Washington Post reported.

"The chemistry between the couple has impressed many netizens and it inspired my partner and I to write this song," singer Yu Runze told the People's Daily.

The other singer, Xu An, reportedly said: "In our song, the stereotype image of a serious political leader has been changed into someone who can connect with ordinary people."

"This will make people have an emotional connection to the couple."

People's Daily reported that the song had scored 22 million hits online in less than a week.

But netizens appeared much less enthusiastic about the song than state media, posting comments like "disgusting rubbish" and "shameless lackeys", Washington Post reported.

Some compared the song to "The East is Red," a song praising Mao Zedong that became China's unofficial national anthem during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

It is the latest manifestation of a growing personality cult around the Chinese leader which is expanding to take in his glamorous wife, Washington Post said.

Since taking power, Mr Xi has sought to portray himself both as a tough leader and as a man of the people, with a visit to a steamed bun shop and a trip to mingle with ordinary people on the streets of Beijing on a smoggy day last year designed to show him as more approachable than some of his predecessors.

Mr Xi's wife was a famous singer with the People's Liberation Army before marrying him, and her glamorous image has also been used to humanise his image.

At the recent Apec summit in Beijing, a short clip of her waving to the crowd and then glancing at her husband - who immediately started waving too, as if at her command - was also widely discussed online and seen as a sign of the influence she has over him, said Washington Post.

Here's a translation of the lyrics of the song:

China produced an Uncle Xi. He dares to fight the tigers.

Not afraid of heaven, not afraid of earth.

Dreamers all look to him!

China also has a Peng Mama.

Give her the most beautiful flowers.

Protect and bless her.

Flourishing family, flourishing country, flourishing under heaven!

Xi Dada loves Peng Mama,

This sort of love is legendary,

Peng Mama loves Xi Dada,

The realm with love is the strongest!

Men should study Xi Dada,

Women should study Peng Mama.

Love like they do,

Love can warm everyone!

Men should study Xi Dada,

Women should study Peng Mama.

Love like they do,

People with love can win everything!

Brave love is called Xi Dada loves Peng Mama.

Together, he's always smiling happily at her.

Brave love is called Peng Mama loves Xi Dada.

Hand in hand, her smile is the most beautiful flower.