The United States has called on Beijing’s government to provide evidence that Chinese tennis player Ping Shuai, who has not been heard from since a social media post in which he claimed to have been sexually harassed by Cang Goali, China’s former Deputy Prime Minister and a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is ok.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki discussed the agenda and answered questions from reporters at a daily news conference.
“We are deeply concerned about Ping’s disappearance after accusing the former CPC member and senior official of sexual harassment. We invite China to provide certifying evidence of Ping’s whereabouts and safety,” he said.
Underlining that they support women who are sexually harassed to raise their voices all over the world, Psaki said, “We are always on the side of freedom of expression. We know that the CPC has zero tolerance for criticism and silences those who speak out. We condemn these actions,” he said.
The 35-year-old female tennis player posted on China’s social networking site Weibo on November 2, claiming she was forced to have sex with Cang, who served as deputy prime minister of China from 2013 to 2018.
State media have written a letter from the famous tennis player’s mouth
Chinese state channel CGTN yesterday published a letter claiming it was from the pen of Chinese tennis player Ping, who has not been heard from since his post.
In a letter to Steve Simon, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), he said: “Allegations that I have been sexually harassed are not true. I’m not in a place where there’s no loss or security. I’m resting at home and everything’s fine. Thank you for caring about me,” the statement said.
Suspicions grow that Chinese tennis player is unsafe
Despite the letter, the fact that Pıng had not met anyone or posted on his social media accounts since November 2, when he claimed to have been abused, raised suspicions in the international tennis community that the Chinese tennis player was not safe. The WTA demanded a transparent investigation of the allegations, while the Professional Tennis Association (ATP) issued a statement of condemnation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry: We are not aware of the incident
China’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on The Ping Shuai’s condition. “This is not a diplomatic issue. I don’t know about the incident,” he said. Ministry spokesmen also declined to comment on Ping’s social media post two weeks ago. The Information Office of the State Council, which represents the Chinese government, also did not provide details.
UN calls for “transparent review” of Ping’s whereabouts
Liz Throssell, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called for a “transparent review” of tennis player Pıng Shuai’s condition. Speaking at a press conference at the UN office in Geneva, spokesman Throssell commented on the latest status of tennis player Pingg. “I call on the relevant authorities to initiate a full transparent review of allegations of sexual harassment,” Throssell said, noting that Png’s whereabouts and health should be informed. Throssell said he does not yet have credible information on the allegations. That’s why it’s important to investigate. It is really important to ensure accountability and to establish justice for the victims.” Throssell also noted the importance of ensuring justice for victims of sexual harassment.
Why are people disappearing in China?
China claims to have a ‘rule of law’. However, the country is ultimately mentioned by the Communist Party of China and has a wide range of gray application areas. Tight control over the press and social media allows authorities to keep quiet and block critics of his disappearance. Such news often occurs gradually through confidential or foreign sources.
Dealing with officials for Chinese celebrities could result in the end of his career, loss of status for business leaders and possible imprisonment. For political dissidents, this usually means disappearing within the police state without access to family and legal process. During the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, politicians, educators and musicians were held in solitary confinement for years without any charges being brought against them.
Which celebrities have disappeared?
Businessman Jack Ma and actress Fan Bingbing are among some of the key figures who have disappeared under uncertain circumstances.
Jack Ma, China’s leading entrepreneur and founder of Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-commerce company, became invisible to the public after criticizing regulators for being too conservative in an October 2020 speech. Whether Ma was detained or not became a social media sensation. His inner circle said Ma was not detained, but decided to remain silent. Ma reappeared two months later in a video released by the Alibaba group, but did not mention his disappearance.
Fan disappeared for three months before news emerged that tax authorities owed him and the companies he ran $130 million in tax and ordered penalties.
People can disappear when they have problems with people with strong political connections, AP reported.
Businesswoman Duan Weihong disappeared in 2017 and said he had not heard from his wife in the four years bringing it back to the four years since she was preparing to publish her husband Desmond Shum’s book on corruption among the Chinese elite. Shum said in an interview with Time magazine that his wife begged him not to publish the book “Red Roulette” in a phone call.
Real estate giant Ren Zhiqiang disappeared in March 2020 after criticizing President Shi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Ren was sentenced to 18 years in prison on charges of ‘corruption’.