Amidst the sea of celebrities, corporations and athletes routinely groveling to China and ignoring its human rights abuses, there are new signs of resistance against the communist regime. "We're seeing the Women's Tennis Association stand up to Beijing and pull its tournaments from China, because (China) has imprisoned a famous tennis player," says Gordon Chang, author and China expert. That player, Peng Shuai, recently disappeared after making allegations of sexual assault against a Chinese Communist Party leader. She has since only been seen in a mysterious video.
At the same time, Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter has recently become a vocal critic of China, calling it a "brutal dictatorship." Kanter also called out fellow NBA players like LeBron James and corporate partners like Nike, for failing to stand up to China for its abuses. Kanter even recently became an American citizen as Enes Kanter Freedom.
Chang believes these developments are encouraging. "This is important, because I think we've reached a tipping point," he tells KTRH. "And we are going to see major organizations, not all of them but some of them, actually do things against China that are resolute...and that's a good sign."
Still, the majority of American corporations and world organizations remain wedded to China. The World Health Organization even changed the name of the newest coronavirus variant to avoid upsetting the Chinese leadership. "I think most people just think they can make money in China if they appease the regime," says Chang. "Therefore, we still see some craven behavior on the part of major organizations."
Nevertheless, Chang is more optimistic based on the actions of the WTA and pro athletes like Kanter. "I think that signals that we are going to see more organizations like the WTA, like the NBA, like others, who will finally stand up to the bullies in Beijing," he says.