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Where is Peng Shuai? Missing Chinese tennis star safe, will appear in public soon: editor of Global Times

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Google Oneindia News

Beijing, Nov 20: An editor of a state-run Chinese daily on Saturday posted photos of the missing tennis star Peng Shuai online, asserting that she was safe in her home and will soon show up in public, in a bid to allay concerns over her disappearance after she accused a senior Communist Party leader of sexual assault.

Where is Peng Shuai? Missing Chinese tennis star safe, will appear in public soon: editor of Global Times

Hu Xijin, editor of the official Global Times, tweeted photos from Peng's social media account on WeChat, showing her playing with her cat and dolls. "I confirmed through my own sources today that these photos are indeed of 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. She will show up in public and participate in some activities soon," tweeted Hu, whose tabloid newspaper is part of the ruling Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily.

He, however, did not elaborate on when and where she will appear. He also re-tweeted photos of Peng posted by Shen Shiwei, a commentator for the state-run broadcaster CGTN, saying they were from the tennis player's social media account and she had wished her friends a "happy weekend" on WeChat, a Chinese social media platform akin to Twitter. Peng, 35, went missing after she alleged on November 17 that she was forced into a sexual relationship by China's former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli after his retirement from power in 2017.

Her explosive #MeToo allegation posted on her WeChat account was scrubbed out of social media by Chinese censors. Subsequently, reports stating that she went missing created an international furore. The United Nations, the United States and a host of international tennis stars, including Serena Williams, expressed concern over her sudden disappearance and asked China to disclose her whereabouts. According to CNN, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) said the Chinese Tennis Association had assured it that Peng was unharmed in Beijing, but attempts to reach her directly had failed.

The WTA has reportedly threatened to pull tournaments out of China. The US has asked China to give details about Peng's well-being. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday that the administration of US President Joe Biden was "deeply concerned" over reports of Peng's disappearance. "We join in the calls for authorities (in the People's Republic of China) to provide independent and verifiable proof of her whereabouts and that she is safe," Psaki said. The sex scandal came at a time when China is gearing up to host the Winter Olympics in February next year. Already, it faced diplomatic boycott threats from the US and its allies over allegations of genocide against Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang. PTI

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