News from China often leaves us speechless.
For example, an incident occurred in 2012 shortly after Xi Jinping became general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). An obscene visual of Lei Zhengfu, who was then CCP secretary for Beibei District in West China’s Chongqing Township, and his mistress surfaced on the Internet, and created a huge stench. There followed a revelation of corruption on the part of Lei, who was ultimately sentenced to 13 years in prison.
This time, what has surfaced is a scandal involving a former Communist Party leader and a prominent professional tennis star. Peng Shuai, 35, is a tennis champion who won the women’s doubles titles at Wimbledon and Roland Garros, two of tennis’s four most prestigious events. Recently, this tennis star posted a message in her own name on social media Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, revealing that former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, 75, had pressured her to have sex with him.
According to the message, the two had a relationship when Zhang was Tianjin City Party Secretary from 2007 to 2012. After his retirement, Zhang contacted Peng again and the two played tennis together. Then, according to Peng, Zhang invited her to his home, where he forced her to have sex with him. The content of the article was very graphic.
The post was quickly removed, but screenshots had already gone viral on the internet. Censors immediately sought to erase anything that might refer to it, and now you can’t even watch a Korean drama called The Prime Minister and I. Apparently, the authorities feared that the characters zongli, the Chinese term which is the equivalent of “prime minister” would remind viewers of the “minister” in Zhang’s former title of vice-premier (fuzongli).
Western media are very interested in this case from the point of view of the #MeToo movement, in which accusations of sexual assault by celebrities are reported.
It’s a mystery why some posts escape pre-censorship in China, in light of the country’s strict information controls. The 19e The CPC Central Committee is holding its sixth plenary session in Beijing from November 8 to 11, and the Chinese authorities must be even more alert than usual for political scandals.
We would like to know the history of this case.
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(Read it Sankei Shimbun column in japanese on this link.)
Author: The Sankei Shimbun