With President Obama scheduled to visit Beijing on Monday, city authorities have banned souvenir vendors from selling a popular t-shirt depicting the president as a Mao-era red guard:
Since he was elected the US president last year, the T-shirt has had a ready market. According to some business owners, they got calls last week from Beijing Municipal Government demanding them to stop the sale of this kind of T-shirt immediately. And inspection officers even came to stores to make sure the T-shirts are off the shelf.
Business owners have been notified that after Obama ends his visit to China, they can resume the sale.
Posters and shirts depicting the president as a communist aren't uncommon at anti-Obama rallies in the U.S., but I'm confused about what exactly this shirt means when a Chinese person wears it. Are they pro-Obama, anti-Obama, or just all about the LOLz?
Also, while I understand that the authorities are anxious not to offend Obama on his high-profile visit, I have a feeling that the president's seen way more ridiculous images of himself if he's ever looked out the window of his limo on Pennsylvania Avenue.