China’s relatively subdued response to Mesut Özil

Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted a picture about Hong Kong; Arsenal star Mesut Özil tweeted an impassioned declaration in which he called on Uyghur “warriors to resist persecution” in Xinjiang, which he referred to as East Turkestan. “Qur’an are burned, mosques are closed, madrasas are banned, and religious scholars are killed one by one,” he wrote. “The brothers are forced into camps. Chinese men are settled in their families instead of them. The sisters are forced to marry Chinese men.”

And yet, both Chinese state media and the public reacted much more passionately to Morey than to Ozil. Why?

As our sports columnist, Gerry Harker, writes in this week’s China Sports Column:

One source at Xinhua told me that senior members of staff were told to avoid going down the NBA path because the government was not as keen to highlight Xinjiang internationally as it had done in Hong Kong. Xinjiang is seen as far more politically damaging overseas than a crackdown on violent protesters, according to the source.

Read more about that here, along with other news from this week in China sports.

—Jeremy Goldkorn