video call President of the International Olympic Committee and Chinese tennis player Peng ShuaiShe disappeared from public view for nearly three weeks and caused a strong protest. She wanted to assure the world that she was safe-but it caused more problems.
Concerns about the former No. 1 doubles player _ have intensified last week, who has not been seen since November 2 when he accused a senior Chinese official of sexual assault. Tennis stars and fans demanded to know #WhereIsPengShuai and the president of the Women’s Tennis Association threatened to withdraw from China for profitable events.
The missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai reappeared in front of the public and talked with the President of the International Olympic Committee
On Sunday, the IOC stated that Peng had a 30-minute video call with IOC President Thomas Bach and other officials in Beijing. According to the organization’s statement, she assured them that she was fine and thanked them for their concern-while demanding privacy.
The International Olympic Committee released a photo showing the screen of Bach facing Peng, but did not release a video of the call. On the same day, the China Open released the video and photos of her participation in the youth tennis tournament in Beijing that morning.
The IOC’s brief statement provided few details and did not follow up on her allegations. It seems unlikely that the door to the Peng case will be closed. This has led to increasing criticism of the IOC, which has already Faced with calls for a boycott of Beijing, the Winter Olympics opened on February 4.
Even after issuing a statement on Sunday, the WTA reiterated what Chairman and CEO Steve Simon had been saying for more than a week, calling for “no review” to conduct a comprehensive, fair and transparent investigation.
The International Olympic Committee is already under pressure to advance the Olympics because of accusations that China has violated the human rights of Uighur Muslims, Tibetans and other ethnic minorities. China denies these allegations. “We are firmly opposed to any words and deeds that go against the Olympic spirit to politicize sports,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday when asked about possible boycotts.
Now, some critics say that the IOC’s handling of Peng’s phone calls makes it an active partner in disseminating Beijing’s information-while failing to provide Peng with an open forum to discuss her allegations.
Human Rights Watch spokesperson Wang Yaqiu said on Twitter that the International Olympic Committee “is actively playing a role in the Chinese government’s enforced disappearance, coercion and propaganda machinery.”
When asked about criticism, the International Olympic Committee said in a statement on Monday that the main purpose of the call was to understand Peng’s situation-and she “very clearly confirmed that she is safe.”
Tennis star Peng Shuai disappeared after accusing Chinese politicians of sexual assault
She agreed to keep in touch with Olympic officials — including having dinner with Bach in Beijing in January — and the agency said it told her that she could contact her as long as she “deems it appropriate”. It added that in order to respect Peng’s privacy, it would not comment further.
This is the second time this year that the International Olympic Committee has become the focus of promoting the Olympics: due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, many people hope that the IOC will cancel the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Critics pointed out that the International Olympic Committee has a strong interest in hosting these events because 91% of its revenue comes from sponsors and the sale of Olympic broadcast rights.
Peng is just one of many Chinese businessmen, activists and ordinary people who have disappeared in recent years after criticizing Communist figures or fighting corruption or the democracy and labor rights movement.
Although the ruling Communist Party quickly erased any criticism, this time criticism from an athlete made it particularly sensitive. The official media celebrated the victory of the athletes as proof that the party is making China stronger_The party is also very vigilant to ensure that they cannot use their prestige and public appeal to weaken its image.
The tennis star accused Zhang Gaoli, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, of sexual assault in a social media post, but was quickly deleted.
She wrote in part: “I know, Deputy Minister Zhang Gaoli, as a powerful figure, you said you are not afraid. Of course you will deny it with your wisdom, and you can even use it against me, and you can dismiss it indifferently. Even if I throw myself on a rock, I throw an egg on a rock, and the moths fight the fire, I will tell the truth about us.”
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuses to comment on the whereabouts of tennis star Peng Shuai
Concerns about her post being censored and her subsequent disappearance from public view turned into an outrage, arousing Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams and Mattie Comments from tennis superstars such as Navratilova.
All along, news about her allegations has been blocked at home. CNN reported that when Peng was reported, his signal in China had been blocked.
A search for her name on Weibo, one of China’s leading social media platforms, produced only a few posts on Monday, none of which involved sexual assault allegations or questions about her whereabouts.
After the tennis star disappears, the International Olympic Committee may take a tougher stance against China: members
It is Zhang who is still missing. About three years ago, he was one of the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the pinnacle of political power in China, and left public life.
WTA is the first sports organization to bravely confront China’s financial influence. Many people see this in stark contrast to the International Olympic Committee, which calls its policy “quiet diplomacy.”
“These statements made the IOC an accomplice to the Chinese authorities’ malicious propaganda and lack of concern for basic human rights and justice,” said the athlete lobby group Global Athletes in a statement.
The statement said: “The International Olympic Committee completely ignores allegations of sexual violence and abuse against athletes.” “The IOC President Thomas Bach and the IOC Athletes Committee took an indifferent attitude towards Peng Shuai’s disappearance and refused to mention her Serious allegations of sexual assault show indifference to sexual violence and the well-being of female athletes.”
Associated Press sports writer Graham Dunbar is from Geneva.
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