Wang Yuan, member of Chinese boy band TFboys, wears a face mask with patterns of pandas in 2014. Photo: VCG
As more medical supplies such as face masks are being donated to foreign countries from China to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some creative Chinese netizens have taken to social media to push forward the idea that these masks adopt some Chinese images such as pandas or the Monkey King in order to further popularize Chinese culture around the world.
"China should design its own face masks, especially for those that will be donated to foreign countries. Patterns featuring cute pandas can be printed on these face masks, or else in the end everyone will only remember 3M or Honeywell even though China has offered a lot of support," a netizen wrote on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo on Monday.
The proposal has earned a lot of support from other Sina Weibo users, who offered more creative ideas on the social media platform.
"Besides pandas, I recommend some cartoon images made by Chinese artists including the Monkey King [from Journey to the West] and the Calabash Brothers [from the famous 1986 Chinese animated TV series]. These logos can allow more people to see Chinese animation," another netizen posted.
This netizen noted that China also has many splendid animated works with their own characteristics and an ACG (anime, comics and games) culture full of variety that should be introduced to the world.
Auspicious animals from ancient Chinese legends have also become recommended options such as Chinese dragons and phoenixes, as well as the winged-lion known as pixiu.
"Auspicious animals from ancient China can also be printed as logos. Their images are so fascinating and handsome that they will surely catch people's attention with just a glimpse. They also represent blessings for good fortune and health, which can be seen as expressing the best wishes of the Chinese people," one Sina Weibo user wrote.
"I vote for auspicious animals. China has such a long history and brilliant culture. The fertile imagination of our Chinese ancestors are reflected in these fictional images," Wan Feng, a Beijing white-collar worker, 26, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"If I could wear a face mask with this kind of design, I would feel like I am the coolest person in the world. I think people in other countries attacked by the virus will feel the same way."
Wan agrees that Chinese-style face masks will not only help popularize traditional Chinese culture but also add some color and fun to people's lives overseas, thus "relieving their stress about COVID-19."
Now that Wan has returned to work in her office, she needs to wear a face mask every day to prevent the spread of the virus.
"If a face mask with Chinese designs is launched, it will be my first choice."
There has also been some opposition on Sina Weibo, saying that designing and printing these logos on face masks would be a waste of time and labor.
"It is unnecessary and will increase manufacturing costs," one Sina Weibo user commented.
"I disagree. This is a good method to export Chinese culture while helping others, so it is a necessary investment," another objected.
About 300,000 face masks from China arrived in Belgium on Monday following in the footsteps of donations to other countries including South Korea and Japan, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.