Zhang Gaoli’s sexual assault incident was written into the U.S. Congress resolution for the 1st time

Edit and translation: Jenny Ball
Editor: peacelv

The International Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced on December 1 that it would pay attention to the Peng Shuai incident and suspend all tennis tournaments held in China, including Hong Kong. The picture shows Zhang Gaoli (left) and Wang Huning in the Beijing Great Hall on May 5, 2016. (WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images)

WTA’s retreats, Beijing is angry, but won’t let the Chinese people know

WTA announced the suspension of all competitions in China this week, arousing widespread international attention. On the one hand, the CCP voiced its anger towards the WTA through official media; on the other hand, it suppressed the news internally. The Chinese people could not see the news about the withdrawal of the WTA from China, and could not find any response from tennis fans public discussion on the matter in China. In addition, two days after the WTA action, congressmen from both parties introduced a resolution across parties in the U.S. Congress on December 3 to include the incident of Zhang Gaoli’s sexual assault in the resolution and to hold the International Olympic Committee(IOC) accountable for cooperating with the CCP to cover up the truth. The resolution also shows that the sexual assault scandal of Zhang Gaoli, a retired CCP official, was included in a cross-party bill in the United States for the first time.

According to comprehensive international media reports, on December 3, U.S. Democratic Congressman Jennifer Wexton and Republican Congressman Michael Waltz jointly proposed a resolution condemning the IOC’s approach to the Peng Shuai incident as cooperating with the CCP government to cover up the truth.

It also questioned whether the IOC has the ability and willingness to hold the perpetrators accountable and protect the athletes participating in the 2022 Beijing Winter/Paralympic Olympics.

Members of the both parties called for an independent and transparent investigation into Peng Shuai’s allegations of sexual assault, and to stop the censorship of the Peng Shuai incident, and to restore Peng Shuai’s personal freedom, including allowing Peng Shuai to leave China.

The CCP is silent at home while slams WTA on social media

The WTA announced on December 1 that all events in China (including Hong Kong) will be suspended. Despite the CCP’s official media fighting on Twitter, the domestic social media platforms remained silent and did not see the usual nationalist anger stirred by the CCP.

Reflect the despair of the CCP

David Bandurski, co-director of the “China Media Research Project”, believes that the CCP’s practice of keeping the people out of the public and venting its anger to the outside world makes people “actually see (the CCP’s) despair.” People have seen that the chief editor of a state-run newspaper rushed out on Twitter. The key is to distract the world from the obvious facts.

The CCP strictly blocks news of WTA withdrawal from mainland

At a press conference on December 2, Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the CCP’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in response to a reporter’s question on the withdrawal of WTA from China, “China has always firmly opposed any politicization of sports.” But on the Ministry’s website about the official record of this press conference, the question about the withdrawal of WTA and Wang Wenbin’s response disappeared.

Soon after WTA announced its withdrawal from the Chinese market, some Weibo users supported this decision on the posts of WTA’s official Weibo account. (WTA did not publish the Chinese version of its announcement on Weibo).

“WTA has a backbone!” A post commented, “Why this man hasn’t been arrested yet? His backing is really super strong. This is ridiculous.” The comment was clearly directed at Zhang Gaoli.

But these posts soon were removed. On December 2nd, a search on Weibo for the topic of WTA suspension of the game had no results.

“Someone is busy deleting the post.” A user wrote under the third post, which was also deleted and comments on the post were disabled.

Expert: WTA’s decision is extremely sensitive to the CCP

Beijing has been concealing its anger at the WTA from the Chinese public, which shows how serious and sensitive the scandal is in the eyes of the ruling Communist Party—especially since the incident occurred before the party congress in 2022 and Xi Jinping seeks a third term.

“For the (CCP) leadership, this is an extremely sensitive issue. I think this may be one of the most sensitive news events that have occurred in the past decade.”

The main concern of the CCP government is clear on Hu Xijin’s Twitter, where he accuses the WTA of attacking the “Chinese system.”

“Because once they really talk about this issue in the mainland, people will ask, “So, what about Zhang Gaoli? Is this true? This is a high-level official, why has nothing happened to him? What happened to him? Where is he now?” And these questions will immediately involve the core issues of power and legitimacy (of the CCP).”

The CCP lacks confidence in its ability to gain public support

To a certain extent, the comprehensive censorship surrounding the Peng Shuai incident and its adverse effects also exposed Beijing’s lack of confidence in its ability to fabricate stories and gain public support.

In the face of international criticism related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet, Beijing in turn condemned Western companies, organizations, and governments for interfering in “China’s internal affairs,” while inciting nationalist sentiments on social media. This approach has won some domestic support. But the Peng Shuai incident is another matter. She is accusing Zhang Gaoli, the highest-ranking member of the CCP, a former member of the CCP Standing Committee, which may provoke anger and sympathy among Chinese, especially young women, many of whom have expressed support for the victims in previous MeToo cases.

Experts say that if the CCP is too afraid of trying to convince its own people, then any attempt to influence international public opinion will almost certainly fail.

“They want to use this kind of narrative to convince the international community, how ridiculous it is.”

Source of the article: hk.epochtimes.com

Disclaimer: This article only represents the author’s view. Gnews is not responsible for any legal risks.

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