China’s Peng Shuai became a global political issue – America, France and Great Britain are seeking clarification

The US, France and Britain are seeking evidence from China for the safety of missing tennis star Peng Shuai. Meanwhile, IOC President Thomas Bach talks to the player via video.

Update November 21st at 8:05 pm. International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach had a video call on Sunday with Peng Shuai, who has been missing since early November. The IOC said it said she was safe and sound at her home in Beijing. Please respect your privacy during this time. Bach was accompanied by IOC Athletes Commission Chair Emma Terho and Chinese IOC member Li Lingwei. The IOC website shows Peng smiling at the screen in front of several different cuddly toys.

The phone call with the IOC is Peng’s first contact abroad since he accused a top politician of sexual harassment. For example, the players’ body WTA tried in vain to contact Peng. But even this direct contact raises questions he cannot answer. Was Peng alone during the conversation? was she at home? Who organized the conversation? Unlike the WTA, the IOC explicitly stays out of politics. It had not officially commented on the Peng case prior to the interview. Emma Terho, however, was concerned on Saturday. The former Finnish ice hockey player wrote on Twitter: “We support the approach adopted by silent diplomacy and hope this will lead to the publication of information about Peng Shuai’s whereabouts and confirmation of his safety and well-being. “

The Peng Shuai case becomes a global political issue – the United States, France and Great Britain are seeking clarification

First report from November 21, 4:08 pm: BEIJING/MUNICH – The disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai has reached politics. Over the weekend, the US, France and the UK called on China to provide proof of the whereabouts and safety of the former world number one couple. “We are deeply concerned about the disappearance of Peng Shuai and are closely monitoring the case,” the British Foreign Office said in London on Saturday. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has also sought an explanation.

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Peng has not been seen in public since he accused former deputy prime minister Zhang Gaoli of sexual harassment on the Weibo online service on November 2. According to the Post, the two had a relationship in previous years – before Zhang reached the Communist Party’s political bureau and became deputy prime minister. The coercion described by Peng occurred several years later when they reunited at the Zhang couple’s home. Within half an hour the censor cleared the mail and the drama started.

Chinese government silent on Peng Shuai case

The Chinese government is still silent. But over the weekend, Chinese state media published videos and photos showing peng shui in normal everyday situations. Hu Xujin, editor of the state newspaper Global Times, published two videos on Saturday. He reportedly showed up to one of them at a dinner with his trainer and two friends. On Sunday, a video and photos were circulating in which Peng Shuai can be seen in the final of a children’s tennis tournament, but hardly speaks. This was posted by the organizer.

The international players’ body was not impressed by the WTA dinner video. Viewing Peng was said to be positive. “But it is not clear whether she is independent and can act without coercion and interference.” Last week, the WTA had already questioned the authenticity of a mysterious Mel Peng. In it, she reportedly insisted that she never accused Zhang and only comforted.

WTA threatens to withdraw from China; US and UK considering diplomatic boycott of Olympic Games

The WTA is threatening to withdraw from China due to the affair. The organization certainly has a certain leverage effect, as many top-class tournaments take place in China every year. His relationship with China is at a “crossroads”, insists WTA boss Steve Simon In a letter to the Chinese Ambassador to Washington, “I hope that I can count on you to pass on these messages to the Chinese leadership so that the problem can be resolved.” International tennis stars like Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and most recently Roger Federer also expressed public concern about him. Coworker.

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The United States and Great Britain are also considering a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing in February 2022. This means athletes can compete, but no government representatives travel to Beijing. tennis legend Martina Navratilova lashed out at Twitter: “I can’t hear you IOC!!! Last time I checked, Peng Shuai was an Olympian!!!” The “missing star case” was bigger than women’s tennis, bigger than tennis, bigger than sport. It’s about basic human rights. Is about… “Beijing Winter Games is a thorn in the side of many politicians in the West because of human rights violations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Still, most states have been hesitant to boycott so far. Peng Shuai’s case could be that drop. which brings the barrel to overflow. (with CK/AFP)

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About the Author: Piers Parker

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