Foreign Policy Digital

Kobe Bryant Was the United States’ Best Ambassador in China

The basketball legend’s death was bigger than virus news in a country that loved him.

When news of the basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash broke Sunday, his death was perhaps mourned even more widely in China than in his home. The hashtag about Bryant’s death on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social networking platform, had accumulated 3 billion views by midafternoon, shooting to the top of trending searches and temporarily burying discussion about the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, which has dominated Chinese social media for the past week. Even state media weighed in, with the Communist Party mouthpiece saying of Bryant: “His fearless spirit of fighting, both on the court and in real life,

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