Why has tribute to President Xi's marriage gone viral?

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe song, Papa Xi loves Mommy Peng, is a tribute to the love between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan

"China has a Papa Xi

No matter how big the tiger he dares to beat

He fears not the sky nor the earth

We dream of meeting him

China also has a Mommy Peng

The most beautiful flowers should be presented to her

Bless her and wish her well

Families blossom so the country blossoms and the world will blossom"

So begins the music video that is sweeping the Chinese internet. "Papa Xi loves Mommy Peng" is a gushing tribute to the love between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, a famous folk singer.

"Men should learn from Papa Xi

Women should learn from Mommy Peng

Let's love like they do"

In just eight days, the video has been viewed 56 million times on its original website. It has already been reposted in many other major Chinese websites, implying an official endorsement of the video.

Image copyright AP
Image caption China's top couple are often to be seen together on foreign trips
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Chinese first lady is compared in the music video to a beautiful flower

A band of four musicians in China's central Henan province composed the song after watching President Xi and his wife side by side at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) leaders' conference that Beijing hosted earlier this month.

"This is a simple love song," one of the band members, Yu Runze, explains. "The sweet feeling between the couple is the only thing we want to show."

Xi Jinping is the first Chinese leader to be photographed often with his glamorous wife, Peng Liyuan.

The pair's relationship has been well documented and numerous photos of the couple's early days have been released to the public, giving Yu Runze's band ample inspiration.

The group have released five albums in their hometown, Zhengzhou, but this is the first song to ever gain attention.

"It is every musician's dream to perform at the Chinese New Year gala," Mr Yu explains, referring to the annual state television broadcast every year on Chinese state television to an audience of millions. "We hope this can get us noticed."

Some are certainly paying attention.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The president and his wife have brought a touch of glamour to their roles
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The pair's loving relationship has been well documented

"I cried watching the video," one Chinese internet user wrote on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. "I'm so touched by their love."

This is not the first time a cartoon version of Xi Jinping has surfaced on the internet. In October 2013, a mysterious source created an animated video explaining the roles of world leaders, including a portly Mr Xi. It was republished by many state media outlets.

But other artists have not been so lucky. Earlier this month, a caricature drawing of the Chinese president and other former Chinese leaders by cartoonist Zhi Zhu was pulled from an animation festival in Hangzhou after it was exhibited for just one day.

Mr Zhu complained at the time that he has had problems finding venues for his work.

Even though it is trending across China, the "Papa Xi" video is getting mixed reviews.

"I saw this and for a moment, I though we'd return to the era of [Communist Party founder] Mao Zedong," one viewer complains on Weibo. "Didn't we end hero worship in the 1970s?"

Perhaps China's censors are still reserving judgment on the video. The terms "Papa Xi" and "Mommy Peng" are blocked on Weibo.

Maybe some in the government are questioning the video's declaration that the couple's "love is like a legend".

*****

Entire lyrics , translation by the BBC Beijing Bureau

Papa Xi Loves Mommy Peng

China has a Papa Xi

No matter how big the tiger is he dares to beat

He fears not the sky nor the earth

We dream of meeting him

China also has a Mommy Peng

The most beautiful flowers should be presented to her

Bless her and wish her well

Families blossom so the country blossoms and the world will blossom

Papa Xi loves Mommy Peng

Their love is like a legend

Mommy Peng loves Papa Xi

The country with love is the strongest

Men should learn from Papa Xi

Women should learn from Mommy Peng

Let's love like they do

Sweet love can warm ten thousand families

Men should learn from Papa Xi

Women should learn from Mommy Peng

People with love can win the world

Rap

There is a kind of love called Papa Xi loves Mommy Peng

When together he always smiles and looks at her happily

There is a kind of love called Mommy Peng loves Papa Xi

Hand in hand, her smile is the most beautiful flower

Related Topics