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McSame_as_Bush 1 month ago#1
The safety and freedom of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai have been in serious doubt since the beginning of November, when she accused a powerful former Chinese Communist Party official of sexual assault. But while her case has garnered international attention, it’s far from an isolated incident — and it speaks volumes about the purpose of political disappearances in China, as well as the country’s treatment of sexual assault.


Although Peng’s disappearance sparked an international outcry, it’s far from the first time China has disappeared public figures. Fan Bingbing, one of China’s most famous actresses; Zhao Wei, a billionaire and actress; and Jack Ma, once China’s richest man and the head of massive e-commerce site Alibaba, have all disappeared for periods in recent years, only to reappear with little explanation.

Fan, a massive star who commanded China’s film industry and attracted international attention, was held under house arrest for four months in 2018 on charges of tax evasion — a fairly typical practice in China, as the New York Times reported the following year in a profile of the actress. She reappeared, cowed and praising “the [Communist] party and the state’s good policies.”

The disappearances of prominent people who the Chinese Communist Party, and President Xi Jinping in particular, perceive as fundamentally inimical to communist values — either through their outspokenness, as in the cases of Peng, artist Ai Weiwei, and actress Zhao; or their public image, like Ma and Fan — serves as a warning to Chinese citizens. In particular, criticizing the state, its policies, or prominent party members can be dangerous, as in the case of real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, who disappeared last year and was later sentenced to 18 years in prison on corruption charges after criticizing Xi’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Given that context, Peng’s disappearance and peculiar reappearance isn’t exactly a surprise; she is the first known person to publicly accuse a member of the Politburo Standing Committee — Zhang was once the vice premier under Xi, making him part of the highest rungs of power — of sexual assault. According to Lü Pin, a longtime Chinese feminist activist, the disappearance wasn’t so much a warning, but a panic response.

“Somehow, the Chinese government doesn’t know how to deal with her case,” Lü said. “They don’t have any language to talk about her case, so they have to block messages, they have to block everything because they don’t know how to deal with it in any other ways.”


According to a recent piece in Australian outlet The Conversation, “[Peng’s] story directly contradicted the Communist Party’s official narrative of harmonious relations between people and Party. In particular, her allegations contradict the narrative that women, who purportedly ‘hold up half the sky in China,’ enjoy gender equality under this government.”

That narrative, however, isn’t the reality in China. As Leta Hong Fincher, author of Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China, argued in a Washington Post piece in 2018, far from guaranteeing gender equality, Xi’s authoritarian regime in fact depends on enforcing patriarchal norms and depicts him as the head of the “family” that is the nation.

That’s only gotten worse as China’s economic boom of the past several decades slows. According to Hong Fincher, “Chinese propaganda under Xi’s leadership has revived sexist elements of Confucianism, in particular trying to push the notion that a traditional family (based on marriage between a man and a virtuous, obedient woman) is the foundation of a stable government.”

Given that framework, Peng’s decision to speak publicly against the state, pierces the illusion of a harmonious “family” headed by “Xi Dada” — Big Daddy Xi — and exposes devastating family secrets.


Despite a handful of high-profile punishments for sexual assault, there is a limit to how far the Communist Party will go in allowing a Western-style #MeToo movement to take hold; previously, China has censored the #MeToo hashtag on social media and detained journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin, who has been deeply involved with the #MeToo movement in China, on a charge of “inciting subversion of state power.”

In China, according to CNN, state outlets publish articles saying sexual assault isn’t a problem, despite evidence to the contrary. Only about 43,000 cases of “crimes against women’s rights” were prosecuted between 2013 and 2017, in a nation of 1.4 billion. And Peng’s censorship indicates that, like many Chinese women without her star power, she’ll be unable to tell her story and the accused won’t face justice.

“I doubt that the Chinese government will investigate her accusations,” Lü told Vox over the phone. But, she said, Peng’s case shows the world “the reality of [Chinese] politics”: Though some politicians have been punished by the state for having “affairs,” Lü said, “they never expose the women’s name, and what’s the real experience for them. Were those women raped? Nobody knows.”


With such sustained attention on the problem, it’s unclear how long China can keep up the ruse that Peng is fine and able to speak without censorship.

But while Peng’s case highlights a multitude of serious problems in Chinese politics and culture, Lü told Vox, it likely won’t change the political structure.

“It’s extremely hard. Our government is very much powerful; nobody really creates real crisis to them,” she said. ”I think that’s the truth, we should admit that. Even Biden cannot do anything.”

But expecting a case like Peng Shuai’s, explosive as it is, to create systemic change in China, Lü said, is missing the point of the feminist movement. “Our vision is not to overturn the rule of the Chinese government,” she said. “Our goal is to just make women not suffer so much.”


Only 43,000 prosecuted cases of crimes against women over a five period is horrific, but also not surprising.
staring down the barrel of the hot sun
shining with the sheen of a shotgun
Requiem 1 month ago#2
It's not really a "metoo" type issue, tbqh, no matter how much the West wants to portray it to be.

It's the issue of questioning or "subverting" the communist party and the current system of governance.
It's not because Peng was a woman accusing a Chinese official of a sexual crime.
It's because an individual raised the issue of flaws in the current form of Chinese government and officials.

And if they allow that to happen, it could open the floodgate to other questions and demand for reforms.
Copyright free literature available at http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page... otherwise known as Tex-Mex
ArchHero 1 month ago#3
Even Biden cannot do anything.”
That's putting it lightly.
HentaiMan 1 month ago#4
Zhao Wei is hot ^_^

And why didn't that oldman CCP official just hire a prostitute, instead he couldn't control his CCPeepee and went after a famous athlete >_<
Requiem posted...

And if they allow that to happen, it could open the floodgate to other questions and demand for reforms.
https://youtu.be/XtyCvA8eN18 https://youtu.be/0_6lFkOg7ko
https://imgur.com/Mr374Y0 https://imgur.com/COylKWt
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