Retired Chinese football star Hao Haidong on Thursday angered the Xi Jinping government in the country when he called for the ouster of the ruling Communist Party. According to media reports, the well-known football player appeared in two online videos, one with his wife and former badminton world number one Ye Zhaoyin, swearing allegiance to the "Federal State of New China," a purported alternative to the ruling Communist Party of China established by exiled dissident Chinese Guo Wengui.
“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,” he says in the video.
In the video, Hao reads out an 18-point manifesto demanding an end to the current power structure, calling the ruling party a “terrorist organization" that “tramples on democracy,” violates the rule of law and makes contracts it doesn't intend to keep.
He touched on some of the most sensitive topics in China, urging genuine autonomy for Hong Kong, Tibet and the self-governing island of Taiwan.
He also accused Beijing of launching “biological warfare” on the world with the coronavirus pandemic, for which there is no evidence. It wasn't clear when or where the video was made, but its release comes on the 31st anniversary of the military assault on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, along with moves to tighten Beijing’s rule over Hong Kong.
Hao’s account on Weibo, China’s hugely popular all-in-one online communications tool, was swiftly deleted, according to AP. Meanwhile, Youtube is also blocked in China. The 50-year-old Hao was a striker for China's national team and also played for Bayi and Dalian Shide. He also briefly joined English club Sheffield United. He has been out of the sport for more than a decade, drawing occasional attention for his controversial remarks.
Hao still holds the national scoring record with 41 goals in more than 100 appearances for China and is also the all-time lead scorer in the Chinese league with 96 goals. In the past, he has also criticized the decision to allow foreign players to take Chinese citizenship in order to play on the national team and called for the formation of a players union.
Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Guo, fled China amid allegations of financial misdoings and has waged a campaign from New York against the President and party leader Xi Jinping and his administration.
(With AP inputs)