Chinese TennisAugust 30th, 2011 by nick
Listening to the commentary on the early rounds of the U.S. Open (tennis), I listened to a bunch of speculation about why Li Na, winner of the French Open, has not won two consecutive matches since then. There was this and that reason put forth, but the elephant in the room was never mentioned.
I’m a big tennis fan, so I know who Li Na is, but many of my 4 readers may not. It doesn’t really matter. Tennis is not the point. Li Na won the Women’s French Open title this year. This is a big deal, like about one fourth of winning the Super Bowl. She is one of the best women tennis players in the world.
She is also a citizen of the PRC, the People’s Republic of China, i.e., red China. She has become one of the Chinese Communist Party’s most valuable assets, for international branding as well as internal pride. Of course she doesn’t live or train in China anymore, but she is nevertheless controlled by the Party.
Not long ago, the Party decided to let her start keeping a substantial portion of the money she earned. Not as much as she would keep as a citizen of Monaco of course, but still, she gets to be rich. I have no way of knowing if it is true, but I would be surprised if there were not a Party member in her entourage, as there always is, living in every tiny neighborhood of Shanghai, a city I have visited several times.
If Li Na is not insane, she wants to leave the PRC and become a free citizen of a Western democracy, not only for more money, but for the freedom to be anybody and do anything. Assuming this is so (she doesn’t look crazy to me), the Communist Party in China will do whatever it is in their power to do to keep that from happening.
Is her money in Switzerland, or is it in China? At the very least, the Party will steal her money and threaten all of her relatives remaining in the PRC, with extreme unpleasantness should she dare to escape. The Berlin wall was not the last of the Communist prisons.
Of course, in the TV commentary, there was no hint of any such factors possibly affecting her tennis game since the French Open. That wouldn’t be polite to our Chinese U.S. Treasury bond holders, and consumer/industrial product manufacturers.