Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping, China. Photo by James B Cutchin

Heroes and villains of 2023: Xi Jinping or Boris Johnson?

At the end of 2023, it’s worth taking a look at how heroes and villains have been shaped by media narratives this year.

Most of us by now recognise Boris Johnson’s role as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse rolled into one overfed scary clown.

Far more column inches have been blaring at us about Xi Jinping’s imagined failings than the effects of Brexit and the Covid pandemic which is still with us.

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Don Quixote in the White House Anna Chen Asia Times

Don Quixote in the White House

Asia Times 29 September 2023: Now that the Writers Strike is over, I can pitch my script for that blockbuster version of Cervantes’ classic crying out to be made: Don Quixote in the White House, updating windmills to stray weather balloons, complete with paranoia & moustache-twirling villains. (Oh. Democrats don’t do facial hair?)

The B-story is a light romance set in the world’s seat of power. He loves Xi but the sweethearts fall out over a misunderstanding that Xi wants to ditch him and run off with Europe.

Across the world, every two-bit, dime-a-dozen demagogue, any politician or public figure in need of a reputation cleanser or career booster realizes they can play the China “Get out of jail free” card, ready made for every grade ‘n’ shade of no-goodniks.

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