Chinese players are not known for criticizing the ruling communist party. But the former Chinese footballer (soccer player), Hao Haidong, lashed out at the Communist Party (CCP), accusing it of "launching global biological warfare" with coronavirus and the party should be overthrown.
In an interview with a YouTube Channel alongside his wife Ye Zhaoyin, former World No 1 badminton player, Haidong said that "Chinese people should not be trampled by the communist party anymore and it should be kicked out of humanity". The 50-year-old, who led China's attacking line in football for over a decade, making 107 appearances and scoring 41 goals, read out an 18-point manifesto supporting the 'New Federal State of China', which was coined by exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui.
CCP Tramples Democracy
Haidong, known as the 'Cannon Hao' for his outspoken personality, termed the communist party a "terrorist organization" that "tramples democracy". "I think the Chinese people should not be trampled upon by the Chinese Communist Party any more. I think this Communist Party should be kicked out of humanity. This is the conclusion I reached after 50 years of living," Haidong said, who also played for Sheffield United in England, in the video from an undisclosed location, commenting on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, in which thousands of people lost their lives.
He also spoke on some of the sensitive topics in China, asking for genuine autonomy of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet. "The CCP was funded by the Communist International and a terrorist organization that overthrew the legal Chinese government," added Haidong, who is known to have a residence in Spain.
Weibo Account Deleted
Even though the video on YouTube, which is banned in China, it caused a rippled effect in the country. It didn't take time for the Chinese authorities to make a move against him. Haidong's Weibo account, China's social media platform, which had over eight million followers was promptly deleted while any mention of his name on Zhihu, a Chinese alternative to question-and-answer website Quora, was also removed.
It didn't end there. China's popular sports forum, Hupu, also issued a notice banning all discussions about Haidong, as per a screengrab of the post but it was later deleted. Titan, China's state-run sports website also condemned the speech, calling subversion that harms the country's sovereignty. "Hao Haidong has made a speech that subverts the government and harms national sovereignty and uses the coronavirus epidemic to smear the Chinese government and spread falsehoods about Hong Kong. We strongly condemn this behavior," the statement read.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, termed Haidong's speech as a farce and said, "I don't have any interest in commenting." It is not the first time that Haidong has criticized the CCP. In the past, he lashed out on the government's decision on allowing Chinese citizenship to foreign players and demanded that players' union should be formed.