Retired Chinese soccer star Hao Haidong, 50, has openly called for the downfall of China's ruling Communist Party, in what he says was the "biggest and most correct decision" of his life, CNN reported on June 7, 2020.

Hao, a household name among millions of soccer fans in China in the 1990s and 2000s and briefly played for English club Sheffield United, had relatively kept a low profile for several years but on Thursday, he made a surprise appearance in two videos on the YouTube channel of Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese tycoon and fierce critic of the Chinese government.

In the first video, Hao read out in Chinese a manifesto of the "Federal State of New China," a government proposed by Guo as an alternative to the Chinese Communist regime. "The Communist Party's totalitarian rule in China has caused horrific atrocities against humanity," he said, denouncing the party as a "terrorist organization" that has "trampled over democracy, violated the rule of law and dishonored lawful agreements."

He also accused Beijing of violating its promise to Hong Kong to keep the "one country, two systems" principle unchanged for 50 years, and "brutally cracking down on Hong Kongers defending democracy and freedoms."