Drawing the News: Li Keqiang on Scene at the Yangtze

Four days after the June 1 capsizing of the Oriental Star cruise ship, only 14 of the ship’s 456 passengers have been accounted for, and rescue hopes are fading as family members’ frustration grows. Immediately after the ship capsized, propaganda authorities forbid media organizations from sending reporters to the scene, and ordered all coverage to follow the lead of official media outlets. Premier has been overseeing rescue efforts in Jianli, Hubei this week, but with so few successful recoveries, his own presence has attracted a large amount of official coverage.

A cartoon from Badiucao references a photo of Li eating a boxed lunch while hundreds of passengers remain unaccounted for—one of many Xinhua photos of Premier Li on his trip to the Yangtze. (Artist: Badiucao 巴丢草)

A cartoon from Badiucao references a photo of Li eating a boxed lunch while hundreds of passengers remain unaccounted for—one of many Xinhua photos of Premier Li on his trip to the Yangtze. (Artist: Badiucao 巴丢草)

Cartoonist Rebel Pepper recalls an infamous catchphrase delivered by Li’s predecessor Wen Jiabao after several disasters during his tenure. “Folks, I too am late,” says Li, boxed lunch in hand and surrounded by adoring representatives as the hand of a soon-to-be victim sinks. (Artist: Rebel Pepper 变态辣椒)