China says “not aware” issue of tennis player Peng Shuai

BEIJING (AP) – China’s foreign ministry on Friday maintained its line that it was unaware of the controversy surrounding tennis professional Peng Shuai, who disappeared after accusing a former top official of sexually abusing her.

Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters that the case “was not a diplomatic matter and I am not aware of the situation.”

The ministry has consistently denied knowledge of the issue since Peng filed his indictment more than two weeks ago.

The 35-year-old former top-ranked women’s doubles player won titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. She also participated in three Olympics, making her disappearance even more prominent when Beijing was to host the Winter Games. February 4th.

Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN human rights office in Geneva, said on Friday that it called for “a full transparency inquiry into her allegations of sexual assault.”

‘And I think we will say that should be the case in all allegations of sexual assault. It is really important to ensure accountability, to ensure justice for the victims, ”she said.

The International Olympic Committee declined to comment Friday, saying in an e-mail statement: “Experience shows that quiet diplomacy provides the best opportunity to find a solution to issues of this nature. This explains why the IOC will not comment further at this time. “

Peng wrote in a lengthy post on social media on November 2 that she was forced to have sex three years ago with Zhang Gaoli in his home despite repeated refusals. Zhang, 75, is a former deputy prime minister who was a member of the ruling Communist Party’s almighty standing committee in the Politburo.

The post was quickly deleted from her verified account on Weibo, a leading Chinese social media platform, but screenshots of the explosive charge were shared on the Internet.

Steve Simon, president and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, questioned the authenticity of what a Chinese state media outlet said this week, an e-mail was sent to him in which Peng said she was safe and that the accusation of assault was untrue. It was tweeted by CGTN, the international division of the Chinese state television company CCTV.

The Prime Minister’s Information Office, which represents the Chinese government, did not respond to emailed questions about Peng’s current situation and Simon’s doubts about the email.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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