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Peng Shuai Case Threatens China’s Goal of Protest-Free Olympics

  • Olympic committee chief to meet tennis star in wake of scandal
  • Xi’s government poised to censor any athlete demonstrations
Xi Jinping, right, with Thomas Bach in Beijing on Jan. 25.
Xi Jinping, right, with Thomas Bach in Beijing on Jan. 25.Photographer: Zhang Ling/Xinhua/Getty Images

President Xi Jinping’s rare face-to-face meeting this week with a German lawyer took on even greater significance in the wake of the Communist Party’s biggest scandal in years.

International Olympic Committee Chief Thomas Bach’s sit-down with the leader of the world’s No. 2 economy underscored Xi’s determination to ensure the Winter Games starting Feb. 4 don’t become overshadowed by political displays over a range of human rights issues, from tennis star Peng Shuai to Uyghurs in Xinjiang and Hong Kong democracy activists.