A ‘Me Too’ Moment In China

The first female in the Chinese communist party to rule number 1 in the Doubles by Women’s Tennis Association, Peng Shuai, has openly accused Zhang Gaoli of physical coercion. The news has caused a worldwide frenzy, and the global media is not letting the topic dry down. Zhen Gaoli is the former member of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, the highest authority in the Chinese Communist Party, and the former Chinese Vice Premier. Accusing such a person on such a high profile authority requires a lot of Guts, and Peng Shuai has proven she has got them.

Several accusations have been leveled against higher-ranking Chinese Communist Party officials in the past. Still, none of the accusers revealed their identity publicly, and therefore the issues were quickly suppressed. Mao himself is amongst the renowned politicians of China known for his womanizing ways but have been left in the past. Zhou Yongkang has been accused of infidelity with multiple women and exchanging his power for money and pleasure, but none knows precisely who the accusers are. Peng Shuai is the first person in the history of China to accuse a top CCP leader, revealing her own true identity, bringing the #MeToo movement to China, and that too at the CCP’s top level.

The #MeToo movement has brought millions of people to talk about their rights and encourages women to speak up against their harassers and share their stories. The CCP leadership has suppressed the #MeToo movement for a long time. Still, Peng Shuai has been courageous enough to come forth with the allegations, adding great significance to the importance of the campaign in a country like China with structural oppression fueled by political power. The whole Peng Shuai and Zhang Gaoli saga has been officially banned from public dissemination and discussion as it harms China’s intentions to declare soft influence over international politics.

On the other hand, Xi Jinping, known for severely punishing the high profile and corrupt political officials, may once again be able to get an enemy out of power under anti-corruption, the main element of his nine years in power.