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EU Wants ‘Verifiable Proof’ Missing Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai Is Safe

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Updated Nov 30, 2021, 01:31pm EST

The European Union on Tuesday joined escalating international demands for proof of missing Chinese tennis champion Peng Shuai’s well-being amid doubts cast on images of her shared by Chinese state media since she dropped from public view after accusing a powerful Chinese politician of sexual assault

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Peng Shaui GETTY IMAGES

KEY FACTS

The EU spokesperson said in a statement it requests “verifiable proof” that Peng, the former women’s doubles No. 1, was safe and an investigation into her now-deleted accusations that former vice premier Zhang Gaoli had forced her to have sex with him three years ago.

The EU “calls upon China to comply with its human rights obligations under national and international law,” according to the statement.

China is facing growing opposition from athletes such as the Boston Celtic’s Enes Kanter and human rights groups over hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of the country’s handling of Peng’s disappearance and alleged human rights issues.

Peng’s recent public reappearance “does not ease concerns about her safety and freedom,” the spokesperson said.

The EU’s position is a sentiment shared by the Women’s Tennis Association, which deemed videos of Peng shared by Chinese statement media as “insufficient” proof that she was free, and tennis stars Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic have all spoken out about her disappearance.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. did not respond to Forbes’ request for comment.

KEY BACKGROUND
After she went missing, and a storm of concern ensued, Peng reappeared in photos and videos shared by Chinese state media on Twitter. The tweets have only snowballed concerns about her safety and whereabouts. Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said its president Thomas Bach, a Chinese official Li Lingwei and Emma Terho, the Chair of the Athletes' Commission held a 30-minute video call with Peng. Without making the video publicly accessible, the IOC released a photo of the video call and said in a statement: “Peng Shuai thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being. She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time.” The statement did little to quell worries about her safety as it largely echoed an email Peng purportedly wrote to the WTA that the Chinese state media shared on Twitter. The email read: “I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’m just resting at home.” The WTA has doubted the authenticity of the email.

SURPRISING FACT
Dick Pound, a long-time member of the IOC, on Bloomberg TV Tuesday, called criticism of the IOC’s video call “a little silly and it’s not supported by the evidence,” and last week he told CNN, he was “really puzzled” by the public’s response to the call with Peng.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The IOC’s response. It has come under fire for lack of action on its end to address Peng’s drop from public view. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains that it has not heard of the disappearance of Peng, 35, and the sexual assault allegations against Zhang, 75.

TANGENT
President Joe Biden said his administration was “considering” staging a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming games due to human rights abuses.


FURTHER READING
EU wants ‘verifiable proof’ Chinese tennis player is safe (Associated Press)

Olympics Official Slams Critics of Peng Shuai Call as ‘Silly’ (Bloomberg)

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai tells International Olympic Committee she is 'safe and well' in video call (CNN)

New Videos Of Missing Chinese Tennis Player Peng Shuai Are ‘Insufficient’ Proof Of Her Safety, WTA Chief Says (Forbes)

 

aziqbal

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this all started with Mao he and the Communist Party are well known use women sex slaves

Mao is reported to have had over 300 concubines

this issue is institutional which is why its been covered up
 

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