China is silent after the disappearance of the tennis star who accused a powerful politician of sexual abuse

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) called on Sunday that Peng's claims be “fully, fairly, transparently and uncensored investigated” (Photo: REUTERS)
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) called on Sunday that Peng’s claims be “fully, fairly, transparently and uncensored investigated” (Photo: REUTERS)

China fell silent on Monday over growing concern for tennis star Peng Shuai, whose nothing has been known since accused a powerful politician of sexual assault, the first time the #MeToo movement hits the highest echelons of the ruler Communist Party.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) on Sunday called for Peng’s claims to be “fully, fairly, transparently and uncensored investigated.”, And current and former players, including the men’s world number one Novak Djokovic, have expressed their fear for the safety of the Former Wimbledon player and French Open doubles champion.

When asked to answer the growing questions, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, said: “I have not heard of the issue you raised.” Added that “This is not a diplomatic question” and did not comment further on the fate of the former world’s number one doubles player.

Details of the allegations reported by Peng, made earlier this month that Former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her, they remain deleted from China’s Internet. Searches for their names on key portals come back empty.

Shuai Peng at the Australian Open (Photo: REUTERS)
Shuai Peng at the Australian Open (Photo: REUTERS)

Your account searches on the platform Weibo, similar to Twitter from China, also did not return results, although the account was still accessible via a direct web link.

In his statement, the WTA President, Steve Simon, said the events related to Peng were “of deep concern”And asked that his statements be “Treated with the utmost seriousness.” “Our absolute and unwavering priority is the health and safety of our players. We are talking so that justice can be done, ”the statement said.

On the other hand, Simon told the New York Times: “We have received confirmation from various sources, including the China Tennis Association, that he is safe and under no physical threat. “

“Shocking”

The number one of men, Djokovic, speaking after his ATP Tour Finals match against Casper Ruud on Monday, described the situation as “terrible”. “Honestly, it’s shocking that she’s missing.”said the Serb. “More so, he’s someone I’ve seen on tour in previous years quite a few times.”

Chris Evert, the 18-time Grand Slam winner, became the highest-profile current or former player to join the expressions of concern on Sunday.
Chris Evert, the 18-time Grand Slam winner, became the highest-profile current or former player to join the expressions of concern on Sunday.

“There’s not much more to say than hope she’s okay. I can imagine how her family feels, you know, that she is missing. “

Chris Evert, The 18-time Grand Slam winner, she became the highest-profile current or former player on Sunday to join the expressions of concern on social media that have led to the Twitter hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.

Evert called the situation “Very disturbing.” “I have known Peng since I was 14 years old; we should all be concerned; this is serious; where is? You are safe? Any information would be appreciated ”, Evert tweeted.

Earlier this month, Peng, 35, wrote on social media that Zhang, who is in her 70s, “forced” her to have sex and said they had an on-and-off relationship that lasted for several years.

The publication of Weibo appeared to have been quickly wiped out and the agency AFP could not verify the authenticity of the screenshots containing the accusation or substantiating the claims made therein.

The ATP, chaired by Andrea Gaudenzi, expressed its closeness to the Chinese player Peng Shuai
The ATP, chaired by Andrea Gaudenzi, expressed its closeness to the Chinese player Peng Shuai

China’s online censors They moved quickly to erase evidence of the reported allegations and Peng has not been heard from since.

ATP, chaired by Andrea Gaudenzi, expressed her closeness to the Chinese player and asked a “complete, clear and transparent investigation” to ensure the safety of the tennis player.

“There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our community. We are deeply concerned about the insecurity affecting the safety of WTA player Peng Shuai. We are encouraged to receive safety messages from the WTA that the player is doing well and we will continue to monitor the situationGaudenzi said.

“We fully support the WTA’s request for a full, clear and transparent investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Peng Shuai.”added.

The institution noted that recent events in China related to Peng Shuai are reason for deep concern and made it clear that, as an organization dedicated to women, it is committed to the principles on which they were founded: equality, opportunity and respect.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

Keep reading:

Peng Shuai, the tennis player who accused a senior Chinese official of sexual abuse, has been missing for 10 days
Scandal in China: a tennis star accused the former vice premier of the regime of forcing her to have sex

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