Beijing, November 20, 2021 – The case of Peng Shuai, the missing Chinese tennis player since November 2, after the accusation of sexual abuse against former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, he could have reached a turning point. According to Hu Xu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, the latest photos of the tennis star to appear on social media are “her current state”. Hu Xijin tweeted that he had “confirmation through my sources that these photos are indeed the current state” of Peng. “For the past few days, she has stayed at her house freely and didn’t want to be disturbed. He will show up in public and will soon participate in some activities, “added Hu, whose claims are hard to verify.
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In the middle of the night, three photos and a screenshot of Peng Shuai’s alleged latest social media activities have added more mystery to the case of the Chinese tennis star, in favor of which the whole world is mobilizing, from the White House to the UN. While the WTA, the association that manages the global professional women’s tennis circuit, has threatened to leave China without clarifying the athlete’s whereabouts, of which they have been lost nearly three weeks after the sexual abuse complaint associated with the # movement. MeToo in China, but which could also not be completely detached from the internal political struggles for the plenum of the CCP that last week elevated President Xi Jinping among the great leaders of the party with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Shen Shiwei, a reporter for CGTN, the international channel of Chinese state TV CCTV, in fact posted on Twitter some pictures of Peng with the wish for “good weekend” relaunched on WeChat by a friend of the tennis player, who appears in the photos smiling among a cat, a stuffed toy of Kung-fu panda and a portrait in the background with Winnie the Pooh. Hu Xijin was the first Chinese journalist to directly cite the Peng case, writing on Thursday night that he does not believe, “as a person familiar with the Chinese system”, that the tennis player “has received retaliation and repression hypothesized by the foreign media for the things people have talked about. “
On the same night, the CGTN posted the screenshot of the alleged bureaucratic email sent by Peng to the WTA, in which the former number one of the double rankings debunks the allegations of abuse and asks for prior consent on the dissemination of any statement related to it. Hu, in charge of the nationalist tabloid of the People’s Daily, the voice of the Communist Party, is very active on Twitter, despite being blocked in China, and is known for the caustic comments against the US and the West. L’hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai went viral on international social media, ending up being relaunched in solidarity by the champions and myths of world tennis, fueling calls for a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Neither Zhang nor the Chinese government they commented on Peng’s accusations, while the champion’s complaint post was immediately removed and the topic removed from the discussion on the Internet in China, falling into the Great Firewall censorship.
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