Putin Creates International Shawl Controversy

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Photo: Andy Wong/Corbis

Last Monday, Vladimir Putin, who the AP reports is somewhat of a "heartthrob" in China, gently placed a shawl on the shoulders of the Chinese president’s wife, Peng Liyuan, and caused a worldwide blanket-gaffe. 

At a performance associated with the Asia-Pacific summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping's wife warmly accepted a blanket-wrap situation from Putin. Moments later, she removed his offering and took a black jacket from someone behind her. Putin points at the jacket in a way that seems to suggest Oh, good choice, and puts the shawl around his lap. 

The video was broadcast and forwarded around the internet, with much chattering online about Putin’s bad-boy intentions. Soon, the video was removed from the Chinese internet and censored from the broadcast, in an effort to stop the conversation associating Putin with the president's wife. 

Again, the AP reports Putin is "a heartthrob among many Chinese women for his macho, man-of-action image." Is I'm a political heartthrob in China the new Oh my band is big in Japan? Sure, why not.