Our search for the so-called “communist Obama” T-shirt began with a capable intern scouring markets in Beijing. It depicts U.S. President Barack Obama wearing a Red Army uniform, the “Chinese communist-style” outfit made famous by Chairman Mao. On the front it says, “Serve the People” in Chinese. On the back, “Oba-Mao” in English.
Our first scan of Beijing turned up nothing. But a tip led us to the basement of Shin Kong Place. In an unassuming souvenir shop, we found a T-shirt in extra-large. During our flight from Beijing to Shanghai to cover the president’s arrival, a news blitz indicated the shirts had been “banned” by the Chinese government amid worries that they may offend the American president.
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Thank goodness we’d gotten ours in time!
But there was no way to confirm the government had indeed taken the shirts off the shelves, so we decided to check for ourselves. We headed to Yatai Xinyang market at a Shanghai metro stop in search of Obama-branded merchandise.
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Photo Credit: johntrathome (Creative Commons)