Doubts in a letter from Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai

 

Difficulties in a letter from Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai

The chairman of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) interviewed an email published by Chinese state media that was linked to tennis player Peng Shuai The tennis star has not been heard from since she accused a senior Chinese government official of sexual harassment two weeks ago In the email, Peng said the allegations were “untrue”.

WTA president Steve Simon said the announcement “only” raised concerns about Peng’s safety.

“It’s hard for me to believe that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believe what was linked to him,” he said in a statement.

Written in his voice and published by television network CGTN, the email claims he has not disappeared or is unsafe, adding, “I just rested at home and everything is fine. Many responded on social media questioning its authenticity.

Peng, a former doubles tennis player number one, has not been heard from since he posted the allegations against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Chinese social media site Weibo in early November.

He claimed he was “forced” to have sex with Zhang – who was the country’s deputy prime minister between 2013 and 2018 and a close ally of Chinese leader Xi Jinping – in a post that was later downloaded. He has not been seen or heard of in public since then.

Since then, the WTA and leading voices from the tennis world have spoken more and more about Ms. Peng Earlier this week, world number one Novak Djokovic said he wished him well, adding that he was surprised when Naomi Osaka raised concerns about Peng’s whereabouts.

In response to the email released on Wednesday, WTA President Steve Simon said the email he received “only increased my concerns about his safety and whereabouts”.

“The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable evidence of their safety,” he said He also stressed that his allegations of sexual assault should be investigated “with full transparency and without censorship”.

“Women’s voices need to be heard and respected, not censored or dictated to,” Peng added.

Peng, 35, is an important figure in Chinese tennis. She won two tournaments at the 2013 Wimbledon Grand Slam and the 2014 French Open, both with Taiwanese Hsie Su-wei His testimony was the worst incident in China’s nascent #MeToo movement. This came just months before China hosted the Winter Olympics.

It hasn’t been seen or heard in public for weeks. An e-mail appeared and the language seemed frivolous.

The image posted by state-controlled television network CGTN appears to be a screenshot with a cursor hanging on the page. All this immediately raises doubts about its authenticity.

No other local media brought it up Famous people have completely disappeared from sight in China. Sometimes these are multi-billion dollar business people. They are not usually athletes.

However, Athletic success, as experienced by Ms. Peng, has been a key element of the ruling Communist Party’s soft power. That still doesn’t include the #MeToo moment.