Wen Jiabao Facebook Profile

The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao's (温家宝, 溫家寶, Wen Jia-bao) performance during the earthquake relief effort over the last two weeks has given his popularity a powerful boost. And now someone has started a Facebook fan page for him that so far has more than 12,600 supporters.

Wen, or 'Baobao' (宝宝) as many of his supporters call him, has had a legion of online fans for several years, a long time before the Sichuan earthquake.

But Wen's not only a frugal leader and a selfless civil servant in his youth! The old photographs below, were posted to a thread on the Tianya BBS in May 2007, it turns out he was quite the dreamboat at that time. The original poster, "26 Degrees Below Zero," confessed to being a Wen Jiabao fan; inspired by the creative names Super Girls fans came up with, she called herself "Eight Treasure Rice Pudding" (八宝饭; "treasure" appears in Wen's name and "rice" sounds like the English word "fan"). Wen himself was given the cutesy nickname Wen Baobao (温宝宝).

Wen Jiabao in His Youth

Chinese netizens have turned Wen's quote below into a widely-distributed Internet meme in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake:

"Any trivial matter multiplied by 1.3 billion will become a big problem;
Any astronomical figure divided by 1.3 billion will become a tiny number."
一个很小的问题,乘以13亿,都会变成一个大问题;一个很大的总量,除以13亿,都会变成一个小数目。

"A little kindness multiplied by 1.3 billion will become an ocean of love;
A great problem divided by 1.3 billion will become a trivial matter."
一点很小的善心,乘以13亿,都会变成爱的海洋;一个很大的困难,除以13亿,都会变得微不足道。

— Prime Minister Wen Jiabao

Taiwan's China Times (中国时报) published an article titled "Wen's fans: Young Wen Jiabao looks like Tony Leung" that suggested nicknames for other Chinese politicians: Taotao (Hu Jintao, 胡锦涛, 涛涛), Lailai (Bo Xilai, 薄熙来, 来来), Xingxing (Li Zhaoxing, 李肇星, 星星), and Jiujiu (Ma Ying-jeou, 马英九, 九九).

"Taotao," China's paramount leader, was not left out of the Tianya thread. Although he doesn't have Wen's animal magnetism, Hu still has his fans, known as "Assorted Rice" (什锦饭). Fuzzy scans of archive photos of Hu during his days as a member of a Tsinghua University dance troupe surfaced, as did other images of the President during his days out west.

Hu Jintao in His Youth

Resources:
1. Wen Jiabao's Facebook Page
2. Danwei's article: A portrait of the Premier as a young man
3. Danwei's article: Wen Jiabao on Facebook
4. Shanghaiist's Quote of the Day: Premier Wen Jiabao (温家宝) and Chinese netizens
5. Thread on Tianya BBS: 温宝宝年轻时的照片 (Photos of Wen Baobao in His Youth)

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