Don't Politicize Peng Shuai's Raps vs Ex-Vice Premier, China Pleads
China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday that "certain people" should stop the "malicious hyping" and "politicization" of the issue of tennis star Peng Shuai, as foreign governments and organizations continue to raise questions around her wellbeing, Gabriel Crossley reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai during her address to the IOC regarding her well-being.
The whereabouts of Peng, a former doubles world number one, became a matter of international concern for nearly three weeks after she posted a message on social media alleging that China's former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her.
She re-appeared over the weekend in Beijing and held a video call with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach on Sunday but the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has said this did not address or alleviate concerns about her wellbeing as China apparently has taken control of the tennis star and is waging a propaganda campaign to whitewash the serious allegations of Peng, whose posts have been deleted in China and caused an uproar among Chinese netizens and athletes.
Amnesty International's China researcher Alkan Akad also told Reuters the video call did little to ease fears over Peng's wellbeing and that the IOC was entering "dangerous waters."
An Amnesty International spokesperson said the organization works "independently and impartially on the basis of facts, and we hold all states to the same standards."
On retort, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed the Peng expose “is not a diplomatic matter," and that Amnesty has been saddled with "anti-China" views. He did say anything about Zhang Gaoli, who should be investigated for raping Peng.