• Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to combat corruption under his regime.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to combat corruption under his regime. (Photo : Getty Images)

Cheng-Bin Wang, a Prague-based Chinese entomologist, named a rare beetle he discovered last year on Hainan Island, in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the New York Times reported.

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Measuring only 0.3 inches long, the beetle called Rhyzodiastes (Temoana) xii has black armor-like ridges and beaded antennae. It feeds on rotten wood.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Wang said that he considers President Xi's campaign against corruption greatly significant. It is as important as the beetle's diet for the health of its environment.

The official name of the beetle in Chinese is 习氏狼条脊甲, which literally translates as "Xi Surnamed Wolf Spine Carapace". Mr. Wang added the word "wolf" to indicate beetle and differentiate it from the cockroach which has relatively soft outer body.

However, this gesture of Mr. Wang was not well-received by China's vigilant propaganda bosses. They responded swiftly to block references to the "Xi Beetle" in the interweb. A Weibo search for the name displayed results that said, "due to relevant laws and policies, results for 'Xi Surnamed Wolf Spine Carapace' cannot be shown."

Some Chinese were aghast to the notion that an insect was named after their respectable leader. Mr. Wang, on the other hand, expressed his concern regarding this alleged "belittling" of President Xi.

"I am crazy on insects! I love them. I do not want to make any trouble!" he replied in an interview via email. Further, he added, "I like Chairman Xi. Because of him, China is getting big and strong. [Like him] this beetle is rare, in 10 collecting trips I've never seen one."

After the discovery, Mr. Wang proceeded with a careful study on the new species in his lab at the Czech University of Life Sciences. He also released a paper in the journal Zootaxa with the dedication, "to Dr. Xi Jinping, the president of the People's Republic of China, for his leadership making our motherland stronger and stronger."