The comments of the tennis players are forcing the West to reconsider its Chinese approach


With only one radio page removed immediately, Chinese tennis champion Peng Shuai sparked a global controversy over how the West responds to the ruling regime in Beijing.

The 35-year-old case of November 2 assaulted by Zhang Gaoli, a former member of the Chinese Communist Party, has been removed from the Chinese Internet within minutes.

But support from well-known sports professionals and the Women’s Tennis Association – which seeks not only its safety but also to predict predictions – has tarnished the image of companies operating in the global consumer market.

“The truth is what he has to do, but it is strange because almost all other sports, companies, even government caves instead of angering the government and jeopardizing access to the Chinese market,” said Jonathan Sullivan, University of the University president. Nottingham’s China Policy Institute.

China, which has about a quarter of the world’s tennis players, is crucial for women’s athletic development. In 2018 WTA signed a 10-year contract in Shenzhen, a 12.6m city in southern China, to participate in the WTA Finals blue-ribbon series.

WTA’s willingness to be ignored by Beijing stands in stark contrast to many Western groups that have offended the Chinese government or consumers.

Companies from McDonald’s and Calvin Klein to Versace and Mercedes have offered an apology and asked China for forgiveness.

The similarities recently was China’s boycott of the NBA – both from fans and government journalists – following Houston Rockets manager Daryl Morey sending a tweet in support of democratic protests in Hong Kong in 2019. The time was “deeply disturbed” by Morey’s “inappropriate remarks”.

Simon Chadwick, an expert in the global gaming business at Emlyon Business School, said the WTA is “an extension” of how Western organizations have dealt with Beijing.

Hundreds of protests rallied in Hong Kong in 2019 to support Houston Rockets manager Daryl Morey who tweeted that he was supporting the democratic process in the city © Ivan Cheung / SOPA Images / Getty

“Sports clubs know they can’t say or do anything. On the issue of equality between men and women. . . there is no contradiction: your ideas should be clear and very strong, “he said.

But, Sullivan said, Peng’s case also shows a major test of a Foreign sports league from a list of events that have taken place it was ruined between the west and China.

These include the onset of the coronavirus epidemic and the rise of China ultranationalist “wolf warrior” reckless. This is also in line with the growing international awareness human rights abuses in Xinjiang and fast violation of freedom in Hong Kong.

Although Peng’s case did not make it possible to start a business out of China, Sullivan said “perhaps the cost to foreign agencies is changing”.

“A lot of games, leagues and clubs bet a lot on China. I don’t think we have reached the peak. But they can look to see what kind of WTA they can buy for themselves in terms of ‘standing up’ in China,” he said.

Chadwick added that many foreign organizations are “beginning to realize” that China is one of the most difficult parts of the world to do business.

“Obviously, part of the problem with this section is the amount of politics that is offered to anyone who wants to participate in the country.”

The International Olympic Committee, however, has emerged as a foreigner.

On Sunday IOC President Thomas Bach said he had telephoned Peng and appeared to be “doing well”.

Yaqiu Wang, a Chinese specialist at Human Rights Watch, a US-based campaign group, criticized the committee for “cooperating with Chinese authorities in curtailing free speech and ignoring alleged rape”.

“The IOC seems to appreciate its relationship with the human rights abuser for the rights and safety of Olympic athletes,” he said.

Joe Biden last week said he was “thinking” diplomatic neglect The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, scheduled for February, end human rights concerns. This means that American athletes are taking part in the game but the US would not send top officials to participate.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian answered questions about Peng’s case as “not a diplomatic matter” and on Tuesday denounced the “evil” and “political” issue in the case.

However, modern and ancient athletes are still divided on the issue of global sporting events an effective court for active action in the case of Peng.

The United States Olympic Committee has not commented immediately on Peng’s case but has previously stated opposition to the athletes.

However, Angela Ruggiero, a 1998 Olympic hockey expert in the United States and a senior member of the IOC, said: “We need to create a safe environment for athletes to speak freely and I hope all governing bodies will do their best. [Peng’s] security. “

The Association for Germany Athletes, a supporter of the German Olympians, stated: “We believe the IOC has a responsibility to uphold human rights and enhance the security of Peng Shuai and the Chinese government.”

However Chadwick also said that before the Olympics, protests against Peng could be combined with “political opportunities on the western side”.

“I think this could lead to a general strike,” he said.

Additional reports of Emma Zhou in Beijing



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