The military parade posts China censored

China's President Xi Jinping (L) talks to former president Jiang Zemin (C) as former president Hu Jintao (R) looks on, during a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on 3 September 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War Two Image copyright AFP
Image caption The presence of former President Jiang Zemin (centre) was one of the hottest - and most deleted - topics on Weibo

China's military parade celebrating its World War Two victory may have been a tightly choreographed show with nothing out of place - but it was a totally different story on Chinese social media.

Netizens on microblog site Weibo had a field day poking fun at the parade, posting satirical pictures and jibes at po-faced leaders. Their efforts were quickly scrubbed off by censors determined to keep the national conversation on script.

Some of the posts were captured by Hong Kong-based coder Cedric Sam and Weiboscope, a Hong Kong University project that monitors deleted Weibo content.

Winnie and Xi

One popular topic was President Xi Jinping, who at the start of the parade inspected the troops from a car.

Image copyright Reuters

Weibo user Diuz posted a picture of a Winnie the Pooh toy. It came without a caption, but thousands got the joke - it was one of the most popular deleted posts, shared more than 65,000 times before it was taken down, according to Weiboscope.

Image copyright Diuz

Mr Xi has been closely associated with Winnie the Pooh since 2013, when netizens noticed that a picture of him walking next to US President Barack Obama looked a lot like Winnie the Pooh and Tigger - those posts were swiftly deleted at the time, of course.

Mr Xi's expressionless face also provided fodder for endless jokes.

Weibo user Buyuesangw posted this image of Mr Xi, saying: "Enjoy this new Winnie military parade expression - it's so cute." The caption reads: "My soul is so tired."

Image copyright Buyuesangw

Another user, Dadadadadabazhao, captioned this picture: "It's so bloody hot, I want to die, urgh."

Image copyright Dadadadadabazhao

Frog fun

One topic which particularly excited netizens was the appearance of former President Jiang Zemin.

Rumours of his death periodically circulate when he is not seen in public for a long time.

One deleted post contained a picture of him at the parade, and commented: "Today's biggest news has broken."

Image copyright Reuters

Others juxtaposed pictures of him with frogs, in a nod to a meme last year on a giant inflatable frog's likeness to Mr Jiang.

Image copyright AFP

Granny love

Another image that made the rounds was of a grandmother feeling sorry for Mr Xi, who's affectionately known as Xi Da Da (Daddy Xi).

Image copyright Weibo

One caption read: "Beijing is too hot, granny feels bad for Xi Da Da."


But it wasn't just jokes that were scrubbed - so too were a number of Weibo posts, particularly from Taiwanese users, that accused the Chinese Communist Party of revisionism in its celebrations.

This included a statement by Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou, noting that the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the Chinese Nationalist Party, had played a major role in repelling the Japanese in WW2, and a picture of KMT general Chiang Kai-shek.

Image copyright Visionanimal

Weibo user Visionanimal posted it saying: "Saluting the real hero of the Chinese people!"

The Communists and the KMT had both worked to repel the Japanese, and many in Taiwan believe China has downplayed the KMT's efforts.

The KMT fled to Taiwan after a civil war with the Communists, and set up a government under Gen Chiang.

However, the Chinese government claims the island of Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory and threatens to counter any move to outright independence by military force.