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

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China’s international ministry, declined to touch upon whether or not the Chinese 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 issue.”

“I consider everybody has additionally seen her attend some public occasions lately in addition to the video name with the International 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 think some people should stop the malicious hype and not politicize this issue.”

His feedback echo these of a distinguished Chinese state-run newspaper editor Tuesday. “Some Western forces are coercing Peng Shuai and an institution, forcing them to help demonize China’s system,” Hu Xijin, editor of nationalist tabloid the Global Times, wrote on Twitter.

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

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

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

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

The IOC didn’t present CNN entry to the video however stated in a press release that Peng insisted she is “safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time.”

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

Amnesty International stated the IOC was “entering dangerous waters” with the video name.

“They should be extremely careful not to participate in any whitewash of a possible violation of human rights,” Amnesty’s China researcher Alkan Akad stated.

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

“It was good to see Peng Shuai in recent videos, but they don’t alleviate or address the WTA’s concern about her well-being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion,” the spokesperson instructed CNN in a press release.

“This video does not change our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern.”

Chinese 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 saved a low profile and pale from public life since his retirement in 2018, and there’s no public info referring to his present whereabouts.

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

CNN’s Beijing bureau contributed reporting.


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