Following the release of videos of missing Peng Shuai, the WTA chairman doubles down on China’s warning.
Following reports that Peng Shuai had gone missing after accusing the country’s former vice premier of sexual assault, Chinese state-affiliated media posted recordings of the tennis star, alleging they were recorded on Saturday (November 20).
Steve Simon, the WTA’s CEO and Chairman, has issued a new statement regarding the disappearance of former world No. 1 doubles player Peng Shuai. His fresh remarks follow the publication of additional footage by Chinese state media that purport to show Peng Shuai eating dinner at a restaurant on Saturday, according to state media (November 20). If there is no verification that Peng is free, and if they fail to adequately investigate her sexual assault charges against Zhang Gaoli, the former vice premier, the WTA chairman has threatened to remove all tournaments from the country.
Peng Shuai has been missing since accusing China’s former vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, of sexual assault in a Weibo post on November 2, in which she also detailed a consensual on-again, off-again affair with the now-retired politician who served on the Politburo Standing Committee between 2012 and 2017.
The post was taken down within half an hour, and Zhang has not replied to the charges. When asked about the allegations, a representative for Beijing’s foreign ministry said, “I have not heard of it and it is not a diplomatic question.”
Concerns about Peng’s safety and whereabouts have grown in recent days, with tennis players, the WTA, and even the United Nations and the White House coming out, calling for verification of her location and safety, as well as an investigation into her allegations.
Several social media posts allegedly written by Peng claiming the allegations were false and saying she was safe and resting at home have been shared by China’s state-run media, including a statement allegedly written by Peng claiming the allegations were false and saying she was safe and resting at home, and photos she allegedly sent to a friend via WeChat on Friday (November 19), showing her smiling alongside a grey cat and some soft toys.
State media then aired videos of the Chinese tennis star out for dinner with her coach and friends on Saturday (November 20), stating the footage was shot on Saturday.
Hu Xijin is the editor-in-chief of the official newspaper, Global Times. “Brinkwire News Summary.”