Panda Hugger Top Trumps

Hello! I’m Meursault, and when I’m not busy clicking “LIKE” on Facebook pictures about pugs and the babies of mild acquaintances, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good game to while away the long hours when I should be working for The Man. However, perhaps you are not as fortunate as me. Maybe you don’t work for The Man, but instead for The Han? And as we all know (say that in the voice of an overly zealous student) the Great Firewall means access to some of the better online games are inaccessible.

Not to worry! Your good friend Meursault likes to help his buddies behind the Great Firewall and is determined to bring some fun into the lives of TEFL Teachers and English Polishers everywhere by returning to the “old school” and introducing YOU to the game that is sweeping the Celestial Empire: Panda Hugger Top Trumps.

Yes! Finally somebody has been inspired to combine the old playground card game with everybody’s favourite CCP apologists. Have you ever wondered who would win in a fight between John Naisbitt and Martin Jacques? Have you ever pondered whether Eric X Li could get Daniel Bell in a headlock? Then this game is for you!

The rules are simple: just print out the following cards then gather your fellow English Teachers / Alcoholics / Fugitive Paedophiles for a rollicking good game. Compare your statistics and compete to become Xi Jinping’s Number One Fan. And just for extra fun: all cards have been decorated with beautiful hand-drawn bottles of Moet – because Champagne Socialists wouldn’t be Champagne Socialists without a bottle of bubbles!


Martin Jacques!

Kneel in terror at his unstoppable narration of the inevitable rise of China!  A man who is such a friend of the CCP that he has even adopted their beliefs. However the former editor of Marxism Today loses points for not knowing a word of Chinese and emulating Chiang Kai-shek in his hairstyle rather than the Great Helmsman.


John Ross!

The King of Outsourcing! Years spent studying Tim Ferris’ “4 Hour Work Week” has transformed John into a formidable one-man CCP propaganda machine: by simply outsourcing his entire Twitter updates to a group of underpaid Chinese students. Few can match the mighty John Ross in wealth following his large payouts from the British taxpayer. However, his wealth is also his weakness. For just as a panda cannot survive in the modern world without massive government assistance, neither can John Ross.


John Naisbitt!

John’s immense power lies in the fact that he is a futurist: meaning that he knows exactly the right things to say to appease the CCP leadership from Xi Jinping in 2016 all the way to Xiii Jinping in 2046. Sadly, despite John’s amazing powers of prediction, he probably didn’t see this blog post coming. 


Doris Naisbitt!

Wife of John Naisbitt, Friend of China. Probably the sexiest of the Panda Huggers Pack, but let’s face it: John Ross isn’t much competition in that area. Like her husband, Doris enjoys free lunches, riding the CCP gravy train, and not producing anything of value since the 1990s. 



Probably the least worst of the Panda Huggers – unlike the others on this list Mark Rowswell AKA Dashan genuinely possesses some talent. Unconquerable in his ability to speak perfect Chinese, Big Mountain makes the list mainly due to his abysmal performance as Edgar Snow (pictured on his card) and forcing every single foreigner in China to be compared to this “so handsome, so charm” Canadian cunning linguist.


Shaun Rein!

It may be “The End of Copycat China”, but it certainly isn’t the end of Shaun Rein’s copycat career as a self-promoting pro-Party bullshitter. Establishing himself on the corporate bullshit circuit as an expert on the economics of China with unrivalled insider knowledge, Shaun represents one of the most powerful Panda Hugger Top Trumps. Some people suggest that Shaun Rein is not human and merely a highly advanced form of artificial unintelligence or a complex pro-Beijing algorithm, but could an algorithm wear such dashing tailor-made suits on profile photos atop Forbes Magazine columns? We don’t think so.


Daniel Bell!

A powerful card to possess. Daniel’s firm belief that the Chinese Communist Party is a true meritocracy that should be emulated by governments all over the world has given him unique grovelling powers unequalled by anyone. Daniel Bell has brown-nosed the Party leadership so much, that it is often said within the halls of Zhongnanhai: “When Xi Jinping farts, Daniel Bell sneezes”. 


Eric X Li!

Look at that face. Beautiful. Those perfect Asian features come not from Photoshop as some cruelly suggest, but from the remarkable DNA he has inherited from the Chinese exceptionalism that he likes to talk about. Eric X Li is an unusual card to possess in your Top Trump pack because it can combine with the Daniel Bell card to become Super Mega Chinese Meritocracy Exceptionalism Panda Hugger – the strongest Panda Hugger on the TED lecture circuit.


Edward Heath!

A special addition from the now discontinued Golden Age Panda Huggers Top Trumps Collection (which featured a gold-lettered and extremely rare Edgar Snow card), the former Prime Minister of the UK was sucking up to the People’s Republic before it was even fashionable. However, being dead for the last eleven years has limited his public profile somewhat. I’m also legally obliged by my lawyers to state that Edward Heath was a wonderful man who did wonders for Sino-British relations and was absolutely NOT a child molester.


Gavin Menzies!

Whereas Shaun Rein and John Ross at least try to anchor their propaganda within the grounds of reality, Gavin Menzies just doesn’t give a fuck. Among his most audacious claims is that China first discovered America, China first discovered Europe, China first discovered Atlantis, and China first discovered the healing properties of the Holy Grail of Christ Himself (who was also probably Chinese).



So there you have it – 10 of the greatest Panda Huggers to ever grace the business class lounge of Pudong International Airport. However, an angry feminist on Twitter just pointed out to me that I have failed to check my privilege and only included one woman in the deck. Hence, here is a special 11th card because DIVERSITY!

Elyse Ribbons!

The woman who would attend the opening of an envelope if it meant she could show off one of her 17,000 traditional Chinese dresses, Elyse is a formidable opponent. Sadly, she hurts the feelings of the Chinese people due to her innate fempat weaknesses towards Western decadent luxuries like Element Fresh and Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks.



Spread the word about Panda Hugger Top Trumps and don’t forget to get in touch on the comments below if there is someone else who you feel should be included. I’ve paid $1.99 for this Make Your Own Top Trumps app so I want to get my money’s worth.

Oh – and look! Even Yang Wei and his son are getting in on the craze that is sweeping the nation!



14 thoughts on “Panda Hugger Top Trumps

  1. Starring in propaganda film/play is a shill thing to do and I don’t know why people don’t see it. Neither Ribbons nor Da Shan would qualify otherwise.

    Plus, um, where’s a certain Baron?


  2. Dashan and Ribbons are by far a long long way away from the other oxygen thieves within this list. For starters, they can actually speak Chinese.

    If I’m absolutely honest, they don’t 100% deserve to be in this rogues gallery. Dashan has done some very cringeworthy things – most notably his Red Star Over China performance and one of his early skits involving a rare postage stamp that was just a horrendous piece of nationalistic propaganda – but he has also kept to the cultural rather than the political. I can understand the forces that push and pull his career and he has no choice but to toe the Party line just like every other performer in China. As for Ribbons, she’s mostly harmless and just wants a bit of attention.

    Still, they make the article funnier, so they stay.


  3. I went to see Da Shan do a stand up performance recently. He seems like a decent guy, and when he’s performing live without cameras he is not especially nationalistic or pro-government.

    Also, what’s Eric X. Li doing in there? I thought panda-huggers only refers to pro-Chinese foreigners, not to Chinese who support the government. Otherwise the list will get too long to count.


  4. As Not Me points out, this fine list is missing the joker from the deck —I refer, of course, to loveable spiv and charlatan “Baron” Chris “Devonshire” Ellis


  5. Doris Naisbitt sexy? Only if you included that other old crone Nancy Reagan.

    Leave CDE alone as he’s simply another in the English black sheep tradition that began with Edmund Backhouse.

    Gavin Menzies. I think we should have some negative numbers here.

    Shaun Rein. Grossly misrepresented. Think more along the lines of public school prefect slash catamite.


  6. CDE barely qualifies as a pandahugger. A great fake lawyer and international blowhard, certainly, but his work just isn’t propaganda-y enough. Heck, I’m having a hard time remembering the last time he said anything good about China, or was even there… he seems to be enjoying St. Petersberg these days. And inventing new cocktails.


  7. Might I suggest a Zuckerberg card? Of the tech titans, he’s proved himself uniquely capable of toadying up to the Party, flattering Xi with his cringe-worthy poses with his book on governance, and giving a thumbs up to China’s internet czar as he rattles on about the country’s net sovereignty (aka, unapologetic censorship)


  8. Well done Mr AD – you’ve correctly identified the prime candidate for Panda Hugger Top Trump inclusion! Cuckerberg or Suckerberg or whatever his name is definitely deserves to be the Joker of the Pack. I’m embarrassed to even share the same planet as him.


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