Chinese tennis star Peng Shua says ex-vice premier forced her into sex

Peng Shuai

Former world No.1 tennis doubles player Peng Shuai, one of China’s biggest sporting stars, has publicly accused a former Chinese vice premier of forcing her into sex several years ago in a social media post that was later deleted. 

According to a screenshot of her verified Weibo account late on Tuesday, Peng said that Zhang Gaoli, who became a member of the Politburo Standing Committee – China’s top decision-making body – coerced her into sex and they later had an on-off consensual relationship. 

The post was deleted around half an hour after it was published, although searches for Peng’s name on China’s tightly controlled internet surged after the posting, and screenshots were shared among private WeChat groups and over iMessage. 

China’s internet is heavily censored and the private lives of top leaders are an especially sensitive subject. 

Peng, who said in the post that she could provide no evidence to back her allegations, did not respond to a request for comment sent to her Weibo account. Sports marketing agency APG, which says on its website that it represents her, did not respond to a request for comment. 

China’s State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment, including for comment from Zhang. When asked at a regular daily briefing about the Weibo post, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said he was not aware of the issue and that “this is not a question related to foreign affairs”. 

  Weibo and Tencent, which operates WeChat, did not respond to requests for comment. 

Sexual harassment and assault were for years rarely broached in public in China until a #MeToo movement began in 2018, when a Beijing college student publicly accused her professor of sexual harassment. That spread to non-government organisations, media and other industries. 

A Weibo timescale function showed that a hashtag of Peng Shuai’s name, which had few to no mentions prior to Tuesday, has racked up more than 20 million views since her post. Discussions of the hashtag surged around the time of Peng’s post, but later plummeted as posts on the topic were deleted. 

By early Wednesday, searches for Peng’s name on Weibo yielded no results and discussions of the topic were blocked. Users of WeChat and QQ, another chat app, were blocked from sending the screenshots to each other. 

While Peng’s Weibo account remained available, with earlier posts visible, the comment and repost functions were disabled. 

Zhang, now 75, was a vice premier between 2013 and 2018 and had also been party secretary of the northeastern province of Shandong. He served on the Politburo Standing Committee between 2012 and 2017. 

Peng was the world No.1 doubles player in 2014, the first Chinese player to achieve a top ranking, after winning the doubles titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. 

Source: Yahoo News

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

We need your help.

The cost of maintaining a community news site like China News is always increasing.

While access to content will always be free, we would appreciate if you could donate any amount, no matter how small, to keep us operating.

This is completely optional and won’t affect your ability to read any of our articles.

Thank you.

Make a monthly donation

We need your help.

The cost of maintaining a community news site like China News is always increasing.

While access to content will always be free, we would appreciate if you could donate any amount, no matter how small, to keep us operating.

This is completely optional and won’t affect your ability to read any of our articles.

Thank you.

Make a yearly donation

We need your help.

The cost of maintaining a community news site like China News is always increasing.

While access to content will always be free, we would appreciate if you could donate any amount, no matter how small, to keep us operating.

This is completely optional and won’t affect your ability to read any of our articles.

Thank you.

Choose an amount

$1.00
$2.00
$5.00
$1.00
$2.00
$5.00
$1.00
$2.00
$5.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly


Categories: Crime & Corruption

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: