TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese married couple, both of whom are highly accomplished in their respective sports, on Tuesday (June 9) reiterated their calls for the overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
On June 4, the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, retired Chinese soccer legend Hao Haidong (郝海東), with his wife, badminton star Ye Zhaoying (葉釗穎), appeared in a YouTube interview in which they called for the CCP to be "kicked out of humanity" for "anti-human" acts. In a second video released that same day, Hao read a declaration for the "New Federal State of China."
Hao is the all-time top scorer for China's national team, with 41 goals from 1992 to 2004 and six professional league titles. Ye is one of China's most decorated badminton players, having won the World Grand Prix Finals three times and world championship twice, medaling in the Sydney Olympics, and achieving the world No. 1 ranking in the 1990s.
In the first video, Hao said that the CCP's "brainwashing" is "poisoning" love between family members. He said that the doubt it sows among people destroys social harmony and "All of this has ruined our basic human decency and destroyed our moral compass."
During an online interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday (June 9), the couple called for the CCP to be "kicked off the stage of history." Hao said that the couple could have become officials after retiring, but they opted not to because of a "system that obliterates people's sense of humanity."
The couple told the paper that as athletes they became disillusioned with the CCP's approach to sports, including its lack of professionalism and constant obsession with winning at all costs. They said that China's poor handling of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its draconian approach to halting the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong only strengthened their hatred of the CCP.
Ye told the Journal that there are many Chinese who share their sentiments, "but they don't dare to speak up inside the country — and they are becoming less and less willing to speak." Indeed, the repercussions were swift, with the long arm of the CCP apparently convincing the Serbian soccer team Radnicki Nis to sack Hao's son, Hao Runze, over the weekend after the June 4 YouTube videos.
Speaking to the newspaper after the firing of their son, the couple vowed to continue to speak out against the CCP. They said that they are willing to accept whatever consequences may result from their criticism of the party.