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Rabbits turning on tigers? Well, a viral cartoon has become a hit in China. It's the latest attempt by Chinese netizens to portray problems in the country. Already the video is being removed from Chinese websites.
It may just be about a bunch of rabbits, but this cartoon is the latest viral video in China that's becoming censored.
Released before the Chinese New Year—the year of the rabbit—the cartoon highlights recent social problems in China. First, baby rabbits die after drinking bottled milk. Then, earthmovers move in to take down homes and the demolition crew stands by as a rabbit sets himself on fire in protest.
[Ye Du, Freelance Writer]:
"Under dictatorship rule, when the public cannot express themselves publicly, they can only use various ways of satire, jokes and other methods to show their anger and disapproval."
After a rabbit is thrown under the wheel of an oncoming truck, the rabbits revolt. They turn violent on the tigers that have been oppressing them. Then peace and harmony is restored.
[Professor Ai Xiaoming, Literary Scholar]:
"I think the cartoon is a protest using arts, it's witty. Netizens like it because it reflects social problems, express how people feel and the anger they have towards these problems."
Radio Free Asia reports the online sensation is now being removed from Chinese websites, but some believe censoring the video won't be much use.
[Ms. Ma, Jilin Resident]:
"The internet is so advanced now, removing and blocking information won't work. My heart felt very heavy after watching this cartoon. This is the reality in China. The cartoon has just concentrated all the issues into one place."
In recent years, Chinese netizens have come up with different ways to express dissent under the Chinese regime's rule. These include symbolic animals that jeer at the regime's focus on so called 'harmony,' and pop songs that make fun of arrogant children of the rich and powerful.