Peng Shuai: Video appears to show missing Chinese player at tennis match in Beijing

It was one of two clips posted on Twitter by Global Times editor Hu Xijinon

Peony Hirwani
Sunday 21 November 2021 09:51 GMT
Video appears to show missing Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai at match in Beijing

A new video, purportedly of missing Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, was released on Sunday by Chinese state media, in which she appears as a guest at a Beijing tournament.

The latest footage of the 35-year-old player was released by the editor-in-chief of Global Times, Hu Xijinon on Twitter on Sunday.

Another video was shared by state media on Saturday where Peng is seen smiling at a restaurant. The chief of the Women’s Tennis Association said it is “insufficient” to quash all concerns.

The 67-second film purports to show the former Wimbledon doubles champion, who hasn’t been heard from directly for more than a fortnight, smiling and laughing while having dinner with her coach and friends in a restaurant.

It was one of two clips posted on Twitter by Mr Hu, who claimed that the video “clearly shows they are shot on Saturday Beijing time”.

The videos emerged hours after the White House and the United Nations joined demands to establish the whereabouts and welfare of Peng, who had not been seen in public since making allegations of sexual assault against former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli.

Peng made her allegation against Mr Zhang in a lengthy post on Weibo, one of China’s largest social media sites, on 2 November. The post was quickly deleted and the CGTN cable TV news channel later distributed a statement that purported to be Peng’s retraction of the complaint.

Mr Zhang was a member of the nation’s highest ruling council, the Politburo Standing Committee, and a close ally to Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The new footage, which emerged a day after fellow players called for “real proof” of Peng’s whereabouts, is unlikely to head off concerns about her safety.

The chair and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association Steve Simon said: “While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference.”

“This video alone is insufficient,” he added. “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.”

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