Peng Shuai: WTA chief says new video of Chinese tennis star ‘inadequate’ to assure her safety


Simon on Saturday expressed reduction at seeing Peng, however he mentioned, “it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference.”

CNN has been unable to independently confirm the movies or affirm once they had been filmed.

“This video alone is insufficient. As I have stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about Peng Shuai’s health and safety and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug. I have been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads,” Simon’s assertion mentioned.

Several folks related to Chinese state media and sport system have tweeted images and movies they are saying present Peng out to dinner on Saturday. The clips seem to intentionally emphasize particular dates.

One of the video clips, solely 45 seconds lengthy, seems to present Peng sitting with China Open match co-director Zhang Junhui together with two girls round a desk in a restaurant in Beijing.

Throughout the video, Zhang is talking to Peng, however she would not say something.

At some level, in accordance to CNN translation, Zhang mentioned, “Yes, this year is different from last year, because of the pandemic. Originally, we planned to have 10 tours in three months, isn’t tomorrow November 20? We have long planned… “

But one of the 2 girls rapidly corrected him, saying, “21st.”

“Oh, November 21, tomorrow is November 21, we will have the final game at Duanshi,” Zhang continued.

“We had larger-scale games before, but because of the pandemic, two tours have been affected. So it’s estimated there will be fewer players, but the kids are still very enthusiastic,” Zhang added.

“So the players in tomorrow’s game are the champions during the past nine tours in the past three months. You can see it’s Sunday, at the end of November, so it’s like a year-end final,” Zhang mentioned within the video.

Another man, beneath the identify Ding Li, additionally tweeted the identical video and a number of other new images of Peng with him and others. He wrote, “Peng Shuai is with me. We’re at this restaurant in Beijing that’s gone viral online, just finished dinner.”

In his tweet, Ding claims the dinner is at Beijing Yibin Guesthouse. The identify of the restaurant matches what’s proven on this video posted by Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of state-run tabloid Global Times.

Opinion: What Peng Shuai's disappearance means for upcoming Beijing Olympics
Beijing is dealing with rising worldwide strain over Peng’s whereabouts, together with from the United Nations, the United States authorities, and the world’s greatest tennis stars. The UN Human Rights Office has known as for an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.

Amid the worldwide outcry, Chinese state media’s Twitter accounts, with Hu’s being among the many most lively, have been more and more posting anonymously sourced details about the tennis star, ostensibly geared toward quelling the controversy with out acknowledging her declare towards Zhang.

Chinese state media organizations such because the Global Times are strictly managed by China’s propaganda authorities. Their tweets about Peng should not reported inside China, which has lengthy banned Twitter and different worldwide social media platforms.

Peng’s put up in regards to the alleged sexual assault posted on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, was deleted inside half-hour of publication, with Chinese censors transferring swiftly to wipe out any point out of the accusation on-line. Her Weibo account, which has greater than half 1,000,000 followers, remains to be blocked from searchers on the platform.

Simon, the WTA chief, mentioned on Friday he’s keen to lose lots of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} price of enterprise in China if Peng will not be absolutely accounted for and her allegations should not correctly investigated.

Doubts cast on alleged email from tennis star Peng Shuai amid worries over her whereabouts

Earlier within the week, Chinese state media launched an e mail, purportedly despatched to Simon from Peng, strolling again her allegations and claiming she is ok.

The alleged e mail was launched solely on English-language platforms and home Chinese media haven’t reported on its contents, regardless of Peng being a family identify in China.

When requested in regards to the e mail, Simon questioned its veracity, describing it as a “staged statement of some type,” noting he had but to obtain a follow-up reply, regardless of responding instantly.

“Whether she was coerced into writing it, someone wrote it for her, we don’t know,” mentioned Simon. “But at this point I don’t think there’s any validity in it and we won’t be comfortable until we have a chance to speak with her,” he added.

Later on Friday, CGTN journalist Shen Shiwei tweeted three images he claimed Peng had posted on WeChat together with the message “happy weekend.”

Shen mentioned the images had been shared by one of Peng’s pals. CNN couldn’t independently confirm when the images had been taken, whether or not Peng posted the images herself, or whether or not they had been posted in any respect.

In a Twitter put up on Saturday, Hu, of the Global Times republished the images of Peng.

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

Speaking at a press convention Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian mentioned Peng’s accusation will not be a diplomatic situation and declined to remark additional.

CNN’s Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.

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