China has made a sharp turn in its stance on the WTA, welcoming tennis back as long as it is not used for sedition. The state media released an article raising concerns over the possible effects of Chinese stars playing at events outside China and what effect this could have on politics.
The “China state media release attributed to Peng Shuai raises WTA ‘concerns’” is a news article from the China Global Television Network. The article discusses concerns over the recent release of a tweet by Peng Shuai.
BEIJING, China — The chairman of the women’s professional tennis tour questioned the credibility of a retraction by a Grand Slam doubles winner who has accused a former high government official of sexual assault, according to Chinese state media.
WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said Wednesday that a statement attributed to Peng Shuai and tweeted by CGTN, the international branch of Chinese official broadcaster CCTV, which claimed it included the contents of an email she sent to Simon, “only deepens my worries as to her safety and whereabouts.”
Peng, a 35-year-old Chinese player who won championships at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014, is a former No. 1 ranked player in women’s doubles.
She claimed in a long social media post earlier this month that despite her repeated refusals, a former vice premier and member of the governing Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee forced her to have sex.
The message was taken from her verified account on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media site, and all news on the issue has been censored by the country’s state-controlled media.
Simon urged a complete inquiry and that Peng not be silenced on Sunday. ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi and four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka have both expressed worry over the matter and Peng’s safety.
The accusation was “not accurate,” according to a statement reported to Peng by CGTN on Wednesday.
CGTN, the international branch of official broadcaster CCTV, is one of the many propaganda instruments used by the Chinese Communist Party to shape foreign opinion. The British television regulator Ofcom has previously sanctioned it for showing coerced confessions from a British businessman, a Hong Kong bookseller, and a UK consulate employee in Hong Kong.
Simon added, “I have a hard time believing Peng Shuai authored the email we got or thinks what is being ascribed to her.” “Peng Shuai showed remarkable bravery in detailing a sexual assault complaint against a former Chinese government official. The WTA, as well as the rest of the world, need independent and verified confirmation of her safety. I’ve attempted multiple times to contact her through various means of communication, but to no effect.”
Simon’s statement, which was distributed by the WTA, went on to say: “Peng Shuai must be given the freedom to share his mind without fear of retaliation. Her claim of sexual assault must be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated without censorship. Women’s voices must be heard and appreciated, rather than silenced or dictated.”
Following a game of tennis three years ago, Peng said that Zhang Gaoli compelled her to have sex despite her numerous refusals. During the event, she stated Zhang’s wife guarded the door.
She also said in her article that they had intercourse seven years ago and that she had emotions for him after that.
Zhang, 75, faded from public view following his retirement in 2018 and is not known to have any close professional or political ties to current Chinese authorities, as is customary for retiring Chinese officials.
Peng won 23 tour-level doubles championships and reached the 2014 US Open singles semifinals. She hasn’t played on the circuit since the Qatar Open in February 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak prompted the sport to take a break.
Peng also competed in three Olympic Games. The Beijing Winter Games, which begin on February 4, are being organized by the International Olympic Committee and China; the IOC stated Wednesday that it has read press stories concerning Peng and is in contact with the International Tennis Federation.
Her charge was the first leveled against a high-ranking government official since the #MeToo movement swept China in 2018, only to be mostly suppressed by authorities the following year.
Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said he was unaware of Peng’s condition at Wednesday’s regular briefing.
The “peng shuai current team” is a China state media release attributed to Peng Shuai. The article raises concerns about the WTA.
- peng shuai original post
- peng shuai husband
- peng shuai email
- peng shuai weibo translation
- zhang gaoli