Chinese state television employees post photos and videos of missing tennis star amid international concern

A Chinese state television employee posted photos of the missing tennis star Peng Shuai online on Friday in what is likely the athlete’s first public documentation since her whereabouts were unknown earlier this month.

Peng disappeared from the public eye after accusing former Chinese Vice President Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex with him in 2018 after a match and then abusing her during a relationship between the two. Tennis stars around the world have since asked about Peng’s whereabouts.

Chinese state television employee Shen Shiwei responded to the concerns by posting photos of Peng on Twitter, including photos of her holding a toy panda and a gray cat. According For the Associated Press, Shen works for the China Global Television Network in English, which is part of China Central Television.

“Peng Shuai’s WeChat Moments posted three most recent photos and said ‘Happy weekend.’ Her friend shared the three photos and the screenshot of Peng’s WeChat moments, ”Shen explained about the origins of the photos. WeChat is a popular Chinese social media application.

Hu Xijin, who also works for China’s state-affiliated media as editor-in-chief of the Global Times, said on Saturday those photos were of Peng’s “current state.”

“I confirmed today through my own sources that these photos are indeed Peng Shuai’s current state. In recent days, she stayed in her own home freely and did not want to be disturbed. She will appear in public and participate in some activities soon, ”Hu tweeted.

On Saturday, Shen also shared several videos and another photo of Peng, showing her at a dinner with friends.

“I am glad to see the videos published by the Chinese state media that appear to show Peng Shuai in a restaurant in Beijing. While it is positive to see her, it is not clear if she is free and capable of making decisions and acting on her own, without coercion or outside interference, ”said the President and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, Steve Simon. said in a sentence.

“This video alone is insufficient. As I have said from the beginning, I remain concerned for Peng Shuai’s health and safety and that the sexual assault charge is being censored and hidden under the rug. I have been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads, “he warned grimly.

Simon said he was willing to take business out of China if Peng was not physically explained and his allegations were not investigated.

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