Behind Eileen Gu’s Smile, a Chained Woman Cries

Commentary The month of February has presented the world with two very different images of China: two women with objects around their necks. One, Eileen Gu, a freestyle skier and model, has two gold medals around her neck; the other, meanwhile, has a chain. For every Eileen Gu, as I have discussed before, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Chinese women who are tormented and abused. Don’t be fooled by Gu’s award-winning smile; China has a dark underbelly, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has attempted to use Gu’s Olympic success to distract us from this fact. But the CCP’s efforts have failed. As The Associated Press noted, “one woman in a population of 1.4 billion” has afforded us a glimpse into what’s really happening in the communist country. One wonders if the woman who was found with a chain around her neck was a victim of human trafficking. The answer appears to be yes. Sadly, we shouldn’t be surprised. China is, after all, a country with a serious human trafficking problem. To be more specific, as Heather Barr, an associate director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, has noted, “China has a bride trafficking problem.” The “brutal business of selling women and girls from neighboring countries” is a highly lucrative one. How has the CCP responded to the problem? Very poorly. According to Barr, the CCP has chosen “to ignore growing allegations about authorities’ complicity in these crimes.” In other words, not only has the CCP failed to take action, it appears to be actively promoting the human trafficking trade. And it’s not just young women who are at risk of being trafficked. As Dr. George Belitsos, an expert in the area of human trafficking, has written, over the past decade, China has become “a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.” Across the country, Chinese men, women, and children are “subjected to forced labor in brick kilns, coal mines and factories, some of which operate illegally and take advantage of lax government enforcement,” according to the U.S. State Department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report. Traffickers, essentially given free rein by the CCP, typically recruit these poor people from rural areas and “take them to urban centers, using a combination of fraudulent job offers and coercion by imposing large travel fees, confiscating passports, confining victims, or physically and financially threatening victims,” noted Belitsos. China even has a black market for babies, according to researchers at The Borgen Project. Moreover, traffickers move freely between China and neighboring countries, recruiting and selling women and children for as little as $3,000. Video screenshot of a mother of eight shackled in a rural hut in Xuzhou city, Jiangsu, China, on January 2022. (Screenshots via Douyin) Which brings us back to Eileen Gu, the San Francisco native who chose to sell her soul to the devil. The Winter Olympics may be over, but the same questions are as relevant now as they were on Feb. 4, when the Games began. Why, Eileen? Why did you do it? Why did you choose China, a country where women are treated like farm animals, over the United States, a country where women have never had it better? Why did you agree to become the poster girl for the CCP’s Olympic-fuelled propaganda? Only she can answer these questions. But one imagines there are many reasons why she chose China over the United States. In fact, there appear to be at least 42 million reasons why, to be precise. As Tianxiashangwang, a China-based news outlet, recently reported, Gu has netted at least $42 million worth of sponsorship and endorsement deals since agreeing to represent China. She has signed lucrative deals with a number of Chinese companies, including Bank of China, China Mobile, Luckin Coffee (China’s answer to Starbucks), and Mengniu, a dairy company. Gu also has a deal with Anta Sports, a sports company that continues to use cotton sourced from China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Whether Gu knows it or not—and I imagine she knows it only too well—by representing Anta, she is representing a company that profits from human rights abuses. Gu, now China’s “hottest commodity,” has turned a blind eye to genocide, which is occurring in the very same region where Anta’s cotton is sourced. Previously, when asked why she chose to represent China over the United States, Gu spoke about a desire to unite the two countries. But as we can see from the numerous deals she has with questionable Chinese companies, Gu’s claims about wanting to unite the countries ring hollow. Did Gu choose to represent China for the money? I’ll let you answer that. But the answer appears to be a rather resounding yes. She is an 18-year-old multimillionaire. If Gu has a conscience, this is a decision that should haunt her for the rest of her life. Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do

Behind Eileen Gu’s Smile, a Chained Woman Cries

Commentary

The month of February has presented the world with two very different images of China: two women with objects around their necks. One, Eileen Gu, a freestyle skier and model, has two gold medals around her neck; the other, meanwhile, has a chain.

For every Eileen Gu, as I have discussed before, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Chinese women who are tormented and abused. Don’t be fooled by Gu’s award-winning smile; China has a dark underbelly, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has attempted to use Gu’s Olympic success to distract us from this fact.

But the CCP’s efforts have failed. As The Associated Press noted, “one woman in a population of 1.4 billion” has afforded us a glimpse into what’s really happening in the communist country.

One wonders if the woman who was found with a chain around her neck was a victim of human trafficking. The answer appears to be yes. Sadly, we shouldn’t be surprised. China is, after all, a country with a serious human trafficking problem.

To be more specific, as Heather Barr, an associate director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, has noted, “China has a bride trafficking problem.” The “brutal business of selling women and girls from neighboring countries” is a highly lucrative one.

How has the CCP responded to the problem?

Very poorly.

According to Barr, the CCP has chosen “to ignore growing allegations about authorities’ complicity in these crimes.” In other words, not only has the CCP failed to take action, it appears to be actively promoting the human trafficking trade. And it’s not just young women who are at risk of being trafficked.

As Dr. George Belitsos, an expert in the area of human trafficking, has written, over the past decade, China has become “a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.”

Across the country, Chinese men, women, and children are “subjected to forced labor in brick kilns, coal mines and factories, some of which operate illegally and take advantage of lax government enforcement,” according to the U.S. State Department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report.

Traffickers, essentially given free rein by the CCP, typically recruit these poor people from rural areas and “take them to urban centers, using a combination of fraudulent job offers and coercion by imposing large travel fees, confiscating passports, confining victims, or physically and financially threatening victims,” noted Belitsos.

China even has a black market for babies, according to researchers at The Borgen Project. Moreover, traffickers move freely between China and neighboring countries, recruiting and selling women and children for as little as $3,000.

Xuzhou Woman Photo
Video screenshot of a mother of eight shackled in a rural hut in Xuzhou city, Jiangsu, China, on January 2022. (Screenshots via Douyin)

Which brings us back to Eileen Gu, the San Francisco native who chose to sell her soul to the devil. The Winter Olympics may be over, but the same questions are as relevant now as they were on Feb. 4, when the Games began.

Why, Eileen? Why did you do it? Why did you choose China, a country where women are treated like farm animals, over the United States, a country where women have never had it better?

Why did you agree to become the poster girl for the CCP’s Olympic-fuelled propaganda?

Only she can answer these questions. But one imagines there are many reasons why she chose China over the United States. In fact, there appear to be at least 42 million reasons why, to be precise. As Tianxiashangwang, a China-based news outlet, recently reported, Gu has netted at least $42 million worth of sponsorship and endorsement deals since agreeing to represent China. She has signed lucrative deals with a number of Chinese companies, including Bank of China, China Mobile, Luckin Coffee (China’s answer to Starbucks), and Mengniu, a dairy company.

Gu also has a deal with Anta Sports, a sports company that continues to use cotton sourced from China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Whether Gu knows it or not—and I imagine she knows it only too well—by representing Anta, she is representing a company that profits from human rights abuses. Gu, now China’s “hottest commodity,” has turned a blind eye to genocide, which is occurring in the very same region where Anta’s cotton is sourced.

Previously, when asked why she chose to represent China over the United States, Gu spoke about a desire to unite the two countries. But as we can see from the numerous deals she has with questionable Chinese companies, Gu’s claims about wanting to unite the countries ring hollow.

Did Gu choose to represent China for the money? I’ll let you answer that. But the answer appears to be a rather resounding yes. She is an 18-year-old multimillionaire. If Gu has a conscience, this is a decision that should haunt her for the rest of her life.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and essayist. His work has been published by the New York Post, Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, National Review, and The Spectator US, among others. He covers psychology and social relations, and has a keen interest in social dysfunction and media manipulation.