China‘s Foreign Ministry says “certain people” should stop keeping the case around tennis star Peng Shuai in the news.
“Everyone has seen that she has participated in public meetings again and also that she had a video call with IOC Chairman Bach,” said a ministry spokesman. “I hope certain people stop maliciously hyping the case, let alone politicizing it.”
Peng accused former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli on social media of sexual abuse early this month. After that, she wasn’t seen in public for weeks.
Last week, a statement was published in Chinese state media that would have been made by Peng. It said that the accusation she made against the former Deputy Prime Minister was incorrect.
Abroad, it is seriously doubted whether the statement really comes from Peng himself. The international tennis association WTA also attaches little value to it.
Chinese state media has been bringing out these images of Peng in recent days:
Over the past weekend, Chinese state media spread footage of a cheerful looking Peng at a tennis tournament in Beijing and at a dinner party at a restaurant.
On Sunday, she had a video call with President Bach of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In it, she said she is safe and asks the outside world to respect her privacy.
But those images have not yet reassured the WTA and human rights organization Amnesty International either. Amnesty‘s China specialist Alkan Akad tells Reuters news agency that the video does not address Peng’s well-being concerns.