China’s foreign ministry says Peng Shuai case should not be politicized

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Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China’s international ministry, declined to touch upon whether or not the Chinese language authorities will launch an investigation into Peng’s sexual assault allegations in opposition to former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. He repeated earlier feedback made to reporters, saying Peng’s scenario “was not a diplomatic problem.”

“I consider everybody has additionally seen her attend some public occasions lately in addition to the video call with the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) President (Thomas) Bach,” Zhao stated. When requested by a reporter whether or not the Peng case would negatively have an effect on China’s picture, Zhao stated: “I feel some folks ought to cease the malicious hype and never politicize this problem.”

His feedback echo these of a outstanding Chinese language state-run newspaper editor Tuesday. “Some Western forces are coercing Peng Shuai and an establishment, forcing them to assist demonize China’s system,” Hu Xijin, editor of nationalist tabloid the International Instances, wrote on Twitter.

Peng, a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion and one in all China’s high tennis gamers, publicly accused Zhang of coercing her into intercourse at his residence, in response to screenshots of a since-deleted social media submit dated November 2.

Her disappearance from public life for greater than two weeks following the accusation prompted an outpouring of worldwide concern, with the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation and the United Nations calling for an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.

WTA chief Steve Simon threatened to drag out of China until Peng was accounted for and her allegations investigated.

On Sunday, IOC President Bach held a video phone call with Peng, accompanied by Chinese language sports activities official Li Lingwei and the chair of the Athletes’ Fee, Emma Terho.

The IOC didn’t present CNN entry to the video however stated in an announcement that Peng insisted she is “secure and nicely, residing at her residence in Beijing, however want to have her privateness revered at the moment.”

The decision, which reportedly lasted half-hour, seemed to be Peng’s first recognized direct contact with officers outdoors of China since making the allegations.

Amnesty Worldwide stated the IOC was “coming into harmful waters” with the video name.

“They need to be extraordinarily cautious to not take part in any whitewash of a attainable violation of human rights,” Amnesty’s China researcher Alkan Akad stated.

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has finally appeared in public. But here's why the worries aren't going away

The WTA additionally renewed its demand for an investigation following the decision.

“It was good to see Peng Shuai in latest movies, however they do not alleviate or handle the WTA’s concern about her well-being and skill to speak with out censorship or coercion,” the spokesperson informed CNN in an announcement.

“This video doesn’t change our name for a full, honest and clear investigation, with out censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the difficulty that gave rise to our preliminary concern.”

Chinese language authorities haven’t acknowledged Peng’s allegations in opposition to Zhang, and there’s no indication an investigation is underway. It stays unclear if Peng has reported her allegations to the police.

Zhang has stored a low profile and light from public life since his retirement in 2018, and there’s no public info referring to his present whereabouts.

In China, senior celebration leaders equivalent to Zhang are usually past public reproach, even when retired. As vice premier, Zhang served on the Communist Occasion’s seven-member Polituro Standing Committee, the nation’s supreme management physique, alongside Chinese language President Xi Jinping.

CNN’s Beijing bureau contributed reporting.

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