20 May, 2022

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Why Did China Do Such A Silly Thing?

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Why the Chinese Government involved itself in the scandal regarding sexual assault made by tennis star Peng Shuai against Zhang Gaoli, a retired deputy PM, is incomprehensible. She accused Zhang, Politburo Standing Committee member of the Communist Party of having pressured her into sex. Peng, a professional tennis player was ranked world No. 1 in doubles by the WTA in 2014, the first Chinese to achieve this ranking, and previously peaked at No. 14 in the singles rankings in 2011. The poor woman didn’t know what was going to hit her when on 2 November 2021, she posted a lengthy message on her verified Weibo account in which she accused Zhang having forced her into sex three years previously. The message was quickly deleted but the full Chinese text and an English translation, as well as a time line of events, is available here.

Details are not important but the punch line, abbreviated, is this: “I can’t say it clearly and it’s useless to say it. I admit I’m not good, I’m a bad girl. About three years ago, (you) Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (contacted me to play tennis). Afterwards you and your wife Kang Jie took me to your home, you took me to your room and like what happened in Tianjin ten years ago you wanted to have sex with me. (I disagreed but still carrying feelings from our past affair, I gave in)”. The extramarital affair was rekindled but Peng claims to have suffered humiliation from Gaoli’s wife’s constant verbal abuse. The remarks within parentheses are cut-and-chop from parts of the statement. A mass of material is on the web.

Let me now turn to the actual topic of the article which is not about the scandal but about the foolish and unnecessary involvement of state and state media. #Me Too activists, the World Tennis Association, Women’s Tennis Association and Association of Tennis Professionals all called for an investigation. It became high-profile on German, French and Australian TV. While Chinese authorities have charged officials in the past with sexual misconduct, this was the first time a member of the top echelon of the CP has faced public allegations. Very foolishly the state machine swung into action orchestrating a “disappearance” of Peng for several weeks followed by China Global Television Network’s release of an email allegedly written by Peng that she was “resting at home”. On 20 November, Hu Xijin former editor-in-chief and Party Secretary of the Global Times posted videos showing Peng at a restaurant. Then he framed the matter “as an ideological struggle between China and the West”. By making it a high-profile political issue China has gone bonkers.

Most laughable, on Sunday (6), Peng declared at a carefully managed interview watched over by minders with French daily L’Equipe that “there has been a huge misunderstanding” about her 2 November 2021 allegations. It does not matter whose side you are on politically but it is obvious that China has made a complete balls-up of the incident and handed its opponents enough firepower to roast it as manipulative, draconian and totalitarian. I say this without implying that the allegations are true or false.

Why oh why did the state authorities do it? This Zhang Gaoli is not such an important scallywag and there has been no suggestion that he is a crony of President Xi or other important Party leader. China knows that no one outside the country will buy its version, nor will it assuage women’s concerns. The answer is that the purpose of these stout denials and state-media involvement is for domestic audiences. It is to keep up the image of the Party and the Chinese Government in the eyes of the Chinesew people. The Winter Olympics are in full swing, there is a crucial Party Conference later in the year and there is this obsession with not appearing to be like the licentious West. But educated Chinese are not inclined to swallow the line. They would be much happier if there was a formal investigation and if necessary, prosecution.

This is the point at which it becomes interesting to Sri Lanka. (This is certainly not a diplomatic matter and calls for no response from government). The point is that when a regime becomes authoritarian as in China a common-sense approach to everything goes out of the window. Scandals of this type are ever so common all over the world, actually rather rare in China. There have been numerous allegations and prosecutions in the US; the verdict has gone sometimes this way and sometimes that. We too were some years ago hugely entertained by the hilarious marathon of a fat and ugly Sports Minister huffing and puffing in pursuit of a lady sprint record holder.

I wonder whether religious big-wigs and women’s organisations in Sri Lanka will be motivated to say something; they should, otherwise they will have no leg to stand on when something similar happens at home. I am no prude and have no horror of consensual merrymaking between hard-up grown-ups. Furthermore, cricket is my game not tennis. The actual problem is when people abuse their positions of power or wealth. The Chinese government has soiled its name in this respect by getting involved.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    2

    The Chinese government must have advised by Sri Lankan leaders. We are still searching to find the murderer of Rugby player Washim!

    • 5
      0

      Dear sensitive souls,
      .
      This is what we got to see on the TV screens last night.
      .
      This kind of pictures are similar to that of North Korea, back and forth.
      .
      ““We are prepared to go into the streets. It is not new to us, as I am one of those who led the ‘Pada Yatra’ and as a politician who stood for the rights of the labourers. We will educate the people about the program of the Government,” Rajapaksa stressed.”

      Do you think that RAJAPAKSHES would be able to see in the eyes of very people by going to the streets today ?
      .
      Who do they think are they misleading further ? Are our people even stupdier than appeared to be ?

      Sensitive SLankens over to you, leaving all aside, we should work together to see the vicious peopel out of our sights.
      :
      They have no achievements during the last 2 years but THE ENTIRE ISLAND NATION IS UPSIDE down as of today. Not even thrivial issues such as ” gas cylinder blasts ” in significant number of house holds ….. is not good enough people to rise up against this nation.
      :
      How stupid they should be ?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBnfLJT7Xfw

  • 11
    4

    “The Winter Olympics are in full swing, there is a crucial Party Conference later in the year and there is this obsession with not appearing to be like the licentious West.”
    If nothing else, it proves that the Chinese are human and have other interests besides diligently building port cities in bankrupt countries.

  • 16
    1

    Authoritarian regimes don’t give a monkey’s to world opinion & this can be seen in SL too. Their only concern is survival by suppression, blatant denial or spreading misinformation, therefore, state run or influenced media becomes the mouthpiece, no longer independent. We are all aware of this in SL but the gullible & the diehards may believe in it & the regime will live to fight another day.

    China can afford to show 2 fingers to the world but can poverty stricken SL? Its the average citizen who is affected, the fat cats will still get the cream, or whatever is left.

  • 10
    6

    “…”orchestrating a “disappearance” of Peng for several weeks
    Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, … attended the opening ceremony on Sunday (21.11.21) morning.

    • 9
      6

      On November 17, the CGTN — an official news-media organization under the control of the Chinese Communist Party’s publicity department — tweeted out a photo of a purported message from Peng Shuai to Simon, though it did not manage to reassure many.
      *
      Kumar’s interest in women’s honour is most welcome.
      It would help if he could provide us with even a rough a translation of the deleted text of Ms Peng, whose copy is accessible, so that we know what exactly the abuse was, before we pass further judgment.
      *
      Clearly, the Chinese authorities were unhappy about the adverse publicity.
      But claims of a “disappearance for several weeks” seem pure sensation.
      What really happened is probably not acceptable even if there was no sexual assault.

  • 11
    2

    KD, I wrote a comment on this months ago, but not sure, what the response then. Yes the lady accused the official , only to disappear for weeks and then reappear denying any. It was refreshing to see the women tennis federation taking a firm stand on this regardless of the risk of loosing their biggest financial sponsor China. The overdrive shown by Chinese is not at all a surprise considering their denial of Pandemic for months. Rajapaksas too follow the same tactics, where MR claimed “zero casualty” after months of hectic war. Reportedly the lady was forced into a live together /slavery with the dirty old geezer, until she found a way to break loose from the shackles (did she ????)

    • 7
      1

      Sorry for missing the main part. SJ, being close to the first lady can reveal more on this scandalous sordid liaisons.

      • 5
        3

        Which first lady and sordid relations?
        I know of a former first lady name starting in H who was troubled by some but did not reveal a lot, as she had a career to pursue, not quite like the tennis champion.

  • 12
    1

    Prof. Kumar David is both prolific and well informed. But occasionally, and with full determination, he tends to kowtow to the mainstream western English-language press. This time it’s about a retired Chinese official and his dumped mistress, a gossipy story beat up with a frenzy by the less discerning western media, the gutter-press tabloids in particular.
    As the story goes, the one-time Chinese tennis star, Peng Shuai, publicly admitted on an internet forum that she had had an extended sexual affair with the retired married Chinese deputy PM, Zhang Gaoli, which illicit liaison had ended badly, as they usually do.
    The spurned lover, Peng Shuai, then lambasted Zhang Gaoli, and even got her language mixed up, perhaps putting down phrases she should not have. Then, led by the Australian media, Peng Shuai’s post was translated into English, with all characteristic mistakes in such venture, and words such as rape put into the version.
    One can assume they don’t read the English press in China but a month later, when Peng Shuai heard about the brouhaha abroad, she quickly refuted it. She was living life as she usually does, normally, she said.

    • 6
      4

      Agreed. Everything in the Western press becomes Women’s Rights for dumped women. When the woman is 17 years old, it becomes pedophilia. The age of consent, 18 is used as a slick weapon to further the women’s right law and media industry.

      • 4
        0

        rtf
        Do you object to the concept of an age of consent?
        Paedophiles will love you.

        • 0
          0

          SJ….yes, I do. If a 17 year old does it with another 17 year old, it is ok according to Western law. But if a 17 year old has relations with an 18 year old, it is pedophilia. They have 12 year olds having intimate relations with other 12 year olds and that’s considered quite normal and healthy. If things are consensual, the law is being misused, mixed up, and wasted on, for rape and true pedophiles who really damage children. Even a 60 year old with a 17 year old is fine if it is consensual (or younger if given happily….as long as the woman has attained maturity)…..like in the Muslim countries. But you have US placing sanctions on Afghanistan forcing them to send their girls to school and not get married, when their traditional ways have been so much more peaceful and accepting. Only reason Americans get their girls to study is to keep up the ecomomy that doesn’t rely on self-suffiency. But even America has places like Utah Mormons that they don’t touch, that follow similar Islamic marriage rules.

          • 4
            0

            I am not talking of specif cases, if you object to consensual sex the first offenders are Adan and Eve. They never married.
            Do you seriously think that unmarried people have no sex life?
            What do people do other than necking during dates?
            The unmarried have more of it than the married have within marriage.
            Get real. Even much of the sex life of the married is outside marriage.

            • 0
              1

              SJ……what are YOU talking about?

              • 3
                0

                I am talking about consensual, extramarital sex as is practiced in real life.
                I am no practitioner, but not a prig either.

                • 2
                  0

                  SJ,
                  Didn’t I concur too? All I’m saying is that the Western press and law tries to put some structure on sexuality, and then becomes ridiculous. Perversity abounds all over the place and on TV and internet, and it’s free for all for everybody, but 18 becomes the magic prosecutable age. In that respect, the Islamists are more refined. So are the Chinese. But we wish the Islamism will evolve, and dignify women by not stoning them. And grant them divorces with monetary terms together with child custody, especially when a 60-year-old marries a 12-year-old.

    • 1
      5

      “The spurned lover, Peng Shuai, then lambasted Zhang Gaoli, “

      hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.Be careful and do it tactfully.Don’ let your wife abuse her.When she complaints to you that your wife is abusing her, go and tell your wife in no uncertain terms not to do it,that is of course if you have the balls to do that. a large number of men tend to prefer peace in the house to war ouside the house.

      The chinese government would have been embarrased because this fellow is was a bigwig of the party and it is a bad reflection on the party.Secretly they would have hung him out to dry for bringing the party into disrepute.

    • 7
      4

      Sarath
      There are too many people waiting to clutch at any stick to beat China– not just the gutter press. That apart, Peng’s withdrawal of her comment points to something unsavoury. But there are extrapolations like her being disappeared etc.
      I will not pass verdict on Peng. But what she said in her original tweet has not been reported by Kumar. Had he bothered many people could draw fair conclusions.
      Judging by several of his recent comments he is a willing victim of the western media mafia. Never checks or cross checks with alternative sources.

    • 2
      2

      Sarath,
      .
      Professor Kumar David is a wonderfully balanced person, and I don’t think that anyone should ever be finding fault with him.
      .
      However, Sarath, in this case, you are absolutely right. I believe that Colombo Telegraph expects him to contribute two articles per week. That he does to help the website, which does a lot of good for all in our society. But this article doesn’t deal with a subject worthy of him.

  • 4
    0

    Peng Shuai’s story in the western media took a life of its own. Her version and corrections wasn’t of importance. She had to refute the story many times over, even about four days ago, but the western English media continues to insist their gossip is the reality. According to that version, she was made to disappear and so on and so forth, even though photos of her at social gatherings did not account for much.
    China meantime completely ignores the silly babble. A state with over a billion people and now with the Winter Games, has much to focus on. The illicit affair of a former official and his mistress is of little significance, except to those with an axe to grind.
    Such sexual larks and frolics happen the world over, as everyone knows.

  • 4
    2

    The news is not new. I am flummoxed that Kumar David finds the news worth writing about. Is people abusing their positions of power or wealth any news. Is Sri Lanka free of this menace. Haven’t we got enough such news in Sri Lanka to be concerned about. When some arm of the Government is involved what chances are there to get to the root of the problem. Gossip can be the only outcome. Is CT a Gossip outlet!

    • 9
      4

      Is CT a Gossip outlet!
      N, sorry to say it is.
      Not all the time, but many news stories from ‘reliable sources’ are pure gossip.
      Then there are the sick personally abusive comments.

      • 2
        0

        SJ

        “Is CT a Gossip outlet!”

        Whats wrong being a Gossip outlet.
        Remember this is not a religious OUTLET nor a Party propaganda organ.
        Would you like to transform it into a Red Book publishers or act as spin doctors for Mao’s Opportunistic Ideology?

        • 1
          1

          Handle your glass ball with care.
          Viewing through it yields inverted images.

  • 1
    3

    A graduate of a Chinese University tells me that if ever a student another of the opposite sex into the room to share some eatables the visit ends up in a copulation. So, the previous affair of the official with the Tennis player is not contradictory with the information I received. The Tennis player was invited and entered the home of the official with the full knowledge and agreement of his wife and entered his room consensually. To say that what happened thereafter is forcibly cannot be credible as it is the norm. The chances are that the Tennis player had serviced many a man and that a political competitor who got to know of the fling would have made the Tennis player to publish in the social media account to make it a scandal. Many think that authoritarianism in China is the cause for coverups. NO. The sense of nationalism that prevails there, will result in a cover up especially if the name of China is made to appear at stake. Sri Lanka? Mr. AF Molamure later became Sir Francis despite all that happened What coverup? Therefore the veiled comparison between China and Lanka is not meaningful.

    • 8
      3

      “A graduate of a Chinese University tells me that if ever a student another of the opposite sex into the room to share some eatables the visit ends up in a copulation.”
      The grammar was a bit hard to unravel, but does he suggest that Chinese universities like Roman palaces places for orgies?
      BTW
      What is wrong with consensual sex?

      • 1
        0

        Thanks for pointing out the mistake. The sentence should read as “A graduate of a Chinese University tells me that if ever a student invites another of the opposite sex into the room to share some eatables the visit ends up in a copulation.” The word invites was not typed in the original text. I do not know first hand about Chinese universities but a graduate from there has so informed me and could well be possible. I am not suggesting about what is wrong about consensual sex but just reveal that the custom in China could be that, an invitation for dinner or a snack can mean an invitation for something really more and not merely an invitation for a meal.

    • 2
      2

      good sense

      “The Tennis player was invited and entered the home of the official with the full knowledge and agreement of his wife and entered his room consensually. “

      that is a good point.She came to play tennis but found that was the entree to the main course which was bunis. tennis gahanne kellonge bunis penawa.When she was playing with his wife he must have seen bunis and got aroused.

      • 1
        0

        Oh! No! It was not a mere arousal while playing tennis. My contention is that the events that took place did occur with the FULL KNOWLEDGE of what was going to happen by ALL THREE. The subsequent fuss was an afterthought perhaps at the instigation of another person who got to know what went on.

  • 6
    3

    “Why Did China Do Such A Silly Thing?”

    Because “Communists” are human too! :))

    Humans are not good at being Communists, Buddhists, Christians, ………. not good at democracy, human-rights, altruism ……….. anything that has morals/ethics/goodness associated ………….

    Humans are very good at being what they really are: apes.

    What’s baffling is, why such an intelligent person like the Prof ………. goes in such circuitous circles and fail to arrive at the cardinal truth.

    We always make up “complex other things” ………… when we are unable to face a simple truth. :))

    • 4
      2

      NF,
      .
      the chinese have that in their blood.
      :
      quote
      Humans are very good at being what they really are: apes.
      unquote
      .
      Best examples are repeated by MADEMUNALA PEETHA DANDA (politically intoxicated power greedy bastard MR) few days on a political rally in A pura.
      .
      Why the people stay as IF THEY ARE FED WITH CLAY yet today ?
      .
      It is just the SINHALA BUDDHISM is implanted in their mind set from the begining on.
      Why do real good buddhist monks ( 15% of sanga community) stay like amazonian sloths yet today ?
      .
      When would they come to the streets for day long protests ?
      .
      Shameless MAHINDA to have the audacity to come to the stage and address the SRILANKENs again, should be connected with his pathological problems…. the kind of power greedy men were last seen in Zimbabwe – since the bugger left the nation, people are ruined in that country. The damages made by his politics left the country in a total mess.

      The very same will be the case in SL island , soon… like or not, believe or not, the days a head of us will show you – scenes similar to venisula or ruwanda…. I have no doubt about that.
      The name RAJAPAKSHE will be a ” term ” to cover with ” peeps” in any news broad/telecasts in the near future.

  • 0
    4

    ” Why Did China Do Such A Silly Thing? “ and
    “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road”

    Pooooooof
    Man , In future, will somebody give me money to read these?

  • 2
    7

    If China is a communist country, then this is really a newsworthy story to ridicule China and Communism, but fortunately China has become a worthy member of capitalist fraternity
    a long time ago.

    This story validates that China deserves her membership in that distinguished company.

    The friends of China could only marvel at the achievement of China in such a short time.

  • 2
    0

    china would have thought the”me too” movement will enter china too and nipped it in the bud.

  • 1
    6

    I am shocked that this Kumar David is talking about some Chinese womans affairs while the Sinhalese are going through a sagathaya that has been created by the JVP and SJB. I am still waiting to see how many Sri Lankans like SM and LM will be dead by the new year,

    I don’t see any starving Sri Lankans but just fat obese fools complaining and striking and picketing. I feel a good old sagathaya will help with these fools developing type 2 diabetes,

  • 0
    0

    I think that the author will do well to listen to Professor Kishore Mahbubani (Singaporean academic, diplomat and geopolitical consultant) before he comments further on China.
    KM cannot be accused of “presenting the Chinese perspective” like Vijay Prashad or Brian Berletic (aka Tony Cartalucci).
    *
    Search “Kishore Mahbubani Q&A” on You Tube for a sane view of global reality.
    General Wes Clark (retired US General) is another who can enlighten us on US foreign policy.

  • 0
    0

    An indian guy told me that when he visits singapore and he goes to chinese brothels staffed by chinese prostitutes he is barred whereas in his home country in the west the massage parlours are staffed by china chinese students who are really keen to provide service I suppose for the extra money

    • 3
      2

      G
      If he visits Chinese brothels on every visit and has been refused service every time, I think that he is a pretty slow learner.
      He could have been more patriotic and visited Indian brothels instead.

      • 1
        0

        SJ

        “He could have been more patriotic and visited Indian brothels instead.”

        Indians go anywhere and everywhere to have bargain, the largest number visit this proud island for the sole purpose of having fun.

        Jaffna seems to be catching up with rest of the island. Maybe the Palaly International Airport could boost business. It is also becoming a hub for drugs. Now we need a Mao or Castro to clean up the island.

  • 0
    0

    To get a clear perspective of the Chinese one must read White Haired Goddess by Lin Yue Tang.

  • 0
    0

    Kishore Mahbubani Q&A. The link is below. It’s like attending a university course.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Kishore+Mahbubani+Q%26A&rlz=1C1RXQR_en-GBAU953AU953&oq=Kishore+Mahbubani+Q%26A&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i512l2.1787j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

  • 2
    1

    SJ, Sarath, et al.,

    Mahbubhani has been at it for more than 2 decades. He is not wrong when he points out Western hypocrisy, but he has been at his weakest when he tries to justify and whitewash HR abuses under the rubric of ‘Asian values.’ HR is a universal value, and clever wordplay by him cannot hide grave abuses.

    On the other issue of sexual mores and personal morality, fidelity, etc., I think the conservative values we in South Asia had are worth preserving. It is the kind of self-discipline even in the face of temptations that leads to personal growth and a better society. I don’t agree with people who cavalierly dismiss it under the ‘consenting adults’ theory. Despite my agnosticism, bordering on atheism, I am a strong proponent of preserving what is good in our cultures, even if such values might have been historically shaped by our religions.

    • 2
      1

      Agnos,
      “I think the conservative values we in South Asia had are worth preserving.”
      Did these values actually exist? Wasn’t it more a case of pretending it didn’t happen, when something actually did happen?
      Rather like the way clergy and politicians seem to be above suspicion nowadays.

      • 2
        1

        Agnos,
        “I think the conservative values we in South Asia had are worth preserving.”
        I think you would be aware of even Mahatma Gandhi’s antics with young ladies back in the day.

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