Censored Version of ‘Contra’ Shows Power Struggle Going on in China

An image from the video game Contra that was manipulated to show current Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his rival Jiang Zemin. (HKU)
An image from the video game Contra that was manipulated to show current Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his rival Jiang Zemin. (HKU)

Bloggers in China can be very creative when making statements about politics, although Internet censors usually track down and “harmonize” their work pretty quickly.

This image was recently deleted on Sina Weibo, and shows a manipulated image from the video game Contra.

Contra was developed in Japan by Konami in 1987, and later released in Europe and the United States. There are only two characters in the game which were based on John Matrix (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando) and John Rambo (played by Sylvester Stallone in First Blood).

In this version, we see the two characters have been changed to Chinese President Xi Jinping in front versus former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin behind.

From their positions, it looks like Xi is winning. Jiang was a powerful leader in his time and fostered many proteges, but Xi has been systematically getting rid of key figures—like former security czar Zhou Yongkang—as part of his anti-corruption campaign.

However, Jiang still holds some influence as can be seen from the photos below where he made public appearances next to Xi at National Day in September.

Incidentally, the blogger used the handle “Jiang little toad” to mock Jiang Zemin who is nicknamed the toad by many Chinese.

Research by Cecilia

 

 

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