Chinese state media have released purported videos showing Peng Shuai in public, trying to quell growing international concern about the Chinese government’s treatment of the missing tennis star.
Peng was neither seen nor heard from the beginning of November. She alleged via social media that former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli assaulted her at least once before she had a long-term romantic relationship with the powerful political figure.
In a series of posts on the social network Twitter – and not reported in China – Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, said: “For the past few days, she has been at home freely. and she doesn’t want to be disturbed. She will soon appear in public and participate in some activities”.
Hu later posted two video clips, claiming that they showed Peng dining at a restaurant on Saturday night.
Steve Simon, chief executive officer of the Women’s Tennis Association, said the video was “not enough” to demonstrate Peng’s safety.
“While seeing her is positive, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and actions on her own without coercion or outside interference. . . As I stated at the beginning, I am still concerned about Peng Shuai’s health and safety and the sexual assault allegations are being censored and wiped out. ”
Earlier, Shen Shiwei, a state television employee, posted on Twitter pictures of Peng surrounded by toys and hugging a cat. He claimed the photos were shared by Peng’s friends.
“Since I do not believe that Peng Shuai has been unfairly treated, I am willing to believe in the authenticity of these photos. And I firmly believe that the untrue speculations around her will eventually be smashed,” Hu said.
The Financial Times was unable to verify the images or videos. Peng’s November 2 social media post remains unverified.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, earlier said that the United States was “deeply concerned” about Peng and called on Chinese authorities to “provide independent and verifiable evidence of his whereabouts.” her and that she is safe”.
“Any report of sexual assault should be investigated, and we support the ability of women to speak out and seek accountability, whether here or around the world,” said Psaki.
“And we know that the People’s Republic of China has zero tolerance for criticism and a record of silencing those who speak out, and we continue to condemn those practices,” she added, referring to The official name is the People’s Republic of China.
The biggest stars in professional tennis including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have joined top tennis organizations to publicly endorse Peng, a former top-rated doubles player. head. There have been numerous calls not only for the 35-year-old’s safety to be assured, but also for investigations into her claims against Zhang.
Simon, who last week suggested that the association could willing to pull events out of China, added: “I’ve been clear on what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads.”
Zhang, now retired and 40 years older than Peng, joined the Chinese Communist Party’s most powerful body, the Politburo Standing Committee, in 2012. Peng’s detailed allegations against an official High level is unmatched in China and still censored.