Peng Shuai situation explained: White House 'deeply concerned' over tennis star's safety, condemns China

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai hasn’t been seen for 17 days and counting. This follows she implicated a previous Chinese Communist celebration leader of sexual attack on Nov. 2. It has actually produced considerable issue within the WTA and tennis neighborhood over her location.

The previous French Open and Wimbledon doubles champ declared retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli required her into sex 3 years earlier in a since-deleted online post to the Chinese social-media website Weibo. Peng has actually not been seen given that.

The WTA has actively forced China into validating Peng’s security and examining her accusations, even threatening to pull its profitable service from the nation if those actions aren’t taken. The White House and United Nations likewise concerned Peng’s defense, as both required examinations into her accusations and disappearance.

Peng’s tennis peers have actually been similarly encouraging, with Novak Djokovic calling her disappearance “shocking” and Chris Evert explaining the whole scenario as “disturbing.” Billie Jean King composed that she hopes Peng, a previous world No. 1, is discovered safe while Alize Cornet included “Let’s not remain silent” with the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai. 

The most popular females’s tennis gamer in the world, Naomi Osaka, tweeted that she is “in shock of the current situation” and is “sending love and light her way.” 

Serena Williams, the sport’s preeminent force long in the past Osaka, shared the very same photo of Peng with a similarly worried belief. 

Here’s a sequential take a look at how the whole scenario with Peng has actually unfolded, beginning with the current updates:  

Nov. 19: White House, UN require examination into Peng Shuai scenario

The White House broke its silence on Peng’s scenario by requiring evidence of her security and condemning China’s censorship. Press secretary Jen Psaki stated the White House is “deeply concerned” over the tennis star’s disappearance and looks for “independent and verifiable proof” of her area and condition.

A day prior, U.S. President Joe Biden stated he was “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing due to the fact that of the nation’s handling of human rights problems. 

“First, any report of sexual assault should be investigated, and we support a women’s ability to speak out and seek accountability whether here or around the world. Second, we will continue to stand up for the freedom of speech, and we know that the PRC has zero tolerance for criticism and a record of silencing those that speak out, and we continue to condemn those practices.” 

The United Nations signed up with the White House’s defense of Peng, with UN Human Rights Office representative Liz Throssell requiring an examination with “full transparency.” 

“What we would say is that it would be important to have proof of her whereabouts and wellbeing, and we would urge that there be an investigation with full transparency into her allegations of sexual assault,” Throssell stated. 

Nov. 19: China states it is ‘not conscious’ of scenario including Shuai

China’s Foreign Ministry exposed that they weren’t “aware” of the scenario surrounding Peng Shuai, according to the Associated Press. Ministry representative Zhao Lijian notified the media that the matter was “not a diplomatic question” and included that he is “not aware of the situation.”

Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the United Nations human rights workplace in Geneva, on the other hand, stated that the scenario required “an investigation with full transparency into her allegation of sexual assault.”

As of Friday, the International Olympic Committee decreased to talk about the matter.

Nov. 18: Simon, WTA threatens to pull Chinese service

Simon doubled down on his risk to pull the WTA’s service from China, a nation his company has actually broadened in over the previous numerous years, if it would not validate Peng’s security and examine her accusations.

“We’re definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it,” Simon informed CNN. “Because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business.”

“Women need to be respected and not censored,” he included.

China hosted 19 WTA competitions in 2019 alone for an overall of $30.4 million cash prize. Shenzhen is slated to host the WTA Finals from 2022-2030 after doing so in 2019 for the very first time. The 2019 Finals had a $14 million reward handbag. 

Nov. 17:  WTA concerns authenticity of Peng Shuai declaration

An e-mail presumably sent out from Peng on Wednesday declared the WTA did not get her approval or confirmation prior to launching its declaration. It was Peng’s initially public remarks given that her accusations, however some, consisting of the WTA, had concerns relating to the authenticity of the declaration. 

“The news in that release, including the allegation of sexual assault, is not true,” the e-mail, which was tweeted out by China state-affiliated media China Global Television Network, check out. “I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine.” 

Simon then honestly questioned whether Peng was persuaded into composing it. 

“The statement released today by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts,” Simon composed. “Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, without coercion or intimidation from any source.”

Peng has still yet to be seen given that her social networks post on Nov. 2. 

Nov. 15: China remains quiet on Peng Shuai’s accusations, disappearance

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijan stated “this is not a diplomatic question” when inquired about Peng’s accusations, including he had “not heard of the issue.” The nation, 13 days after Peng’s post, still has yet to acknowledge it. 

Nov. 14: WTA president requires examination into scenario

Steve Simon, WTA’s president, asked for a “full, fair and transparent” examination into Peng’s accusations in a declaration. At that point, nobody had actually seen or spoken with Peng for 12 days, triggering the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai to spread out throughout social networks. 

“Obviously she displayed tremendous courage going public,” Simon informed the New York Times. “Now we want to make sure we’re moving forward to a place where a full and transparent investigation is conducted. Anything else, I think, is an affront to not only our players but to all women.”

Simon threatened to pull the WTA’s service from China if the nation stopped working to appropriately examine Peng’s accusations. China presently hosts 11 WTA competitions and the trip finals in Shenzhen. 

While Simon could not straight validate Peng’s location or condition, he informed the Times that numerous sources — consisting of the Chinese Tennis Association — informed him that she’s “safe and not under any physical threat.” Simon’s “understanding” was that she remained in Beijing. 

Nov. 2: Peng Shuai makes sexual attack accusations versus Zhang

In a 1,600-word post to Weibo, Peng implicated the 75-year-old Zhang — a previous leader within China’s Communist celebration — of pressing her into sex around 3 years earlier. Peng, 35, declared the attack happened after Zhang welcomed her to play tennis with him and his spouse at their home, however she confessed she had no proof. 

“I was so scared that afternoon,” composed Peng, who declared a guard stood watch outside the door while the attack happened. “I never gave consent, crying the entire time.”

Peng stated she and Zhang ended up being familiarized with each other while the latter was acting as Tianjin’s celebration employer from 2007-2012, and Zhang required her into sex after leaving his post as China’s vice premier in 2017. 

“I know that for someone of your stature, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you have said that you are not afraid,” Peng composed. “But even if it is like throwing an egg against rock, or if I am like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I will tell the truth about you.”

The post was erased within thirty minutes, and Chinese censors obstructed search terms such as Peng’s name.

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