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King of the silver screen

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yǐngdì | 影帝

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Nickname for former prime minister Wen Jiabao, with a nod to his many “performances” in photo opportunities with ordinary people, especially at disaster zones. His charisma and expressions of concern for the downtrodden made Wen extremely popular. However, critics perceived his words and actions as disingenuous, designed to conceal the repressive nature of the Party.

In 2010, democracy activist Yu Jie was detained before the publication of his book "China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao" (Zhōngguó yǐngdì Wēn Jiābǎo 中国影帝温家宝). Yu fled to the U.S. in January 2012 under threat of being “buried alive.”

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