China says the Peng Shuai case has been spread “in bad faith”.

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Beijing:

China on Tuesday said the controversy over peng shui was escalating “maliciously” after a Chinese tennis star made sexual assaults against one of the country’s most powerful politicians.

Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion Peng has not been seen for more than two weeks after allegations were made against former deputy prime minister Zhang Gaoli.

Peng, 35, first appeared in public on the weekend when he was seen participating in the Beijing Tennis Tournament.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Xiao Lijian said in response to a question whether the issue had tarnished China’s international image. “

Beijing will host the Winter Olympics in February.

“I’m sure you’ve all seen him attend some public events recently and have a video call with IOC President Thomas Bach,” Zhao added.

The remarks were the most direct response from the Chinese government to Peng’s case.

As of Tuesday, Beijing had repeatedly raised questions about its whereabouts and well-being – calling it “not a diplomatic issue.”

Evidence of his claims has also been cleared from China’s highly censored Internet.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has threatened to end its lucrative deal with China unless it receives information about Peng’s safety.

Peng appeared in a 30-minute video call with the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday.

During the call, “Peng Shui thanked the IOC for its concern for its well-being,” the organization said in a statement.

“She is safe and sound. She lives in her home in Beijing, but would like to respect her privacy at this time,” she said.

Earlier on Sunday, Peng was seen participating in the Beijing Tennis Tournament, in official photos of the event.

But human rights groups and sports officials abroad have been expressing concern about Peng and whether local authorities will act on his allegations.

When asked about the IOC call, the WTA said, “This video does not change our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation into this allegation of sexual harassment, which addresses our initial concerns. There is a problem. ” .

Human Rights Watch also criticized the IOC and demanded that it explain how the video call with Peng was organized.

Yakyu Wang, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “The IOC has quietly spoken to Chinese authorities about Beijing’s exceptional human rights record, accusing it of violating freedom of expression and alleged sexual assault. Is limited to active collaboration in style. “

“The IOC seems to be rewarding its relationship with human rights violators on the rights and safety of Olympic athletes.”

Peng, a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion, had earlier this month accused Zhang, who is now in his 70s, of forcing her to have sex during a years-long on-off relationship.

Following the global outcry, including tennis superstars and UN, Chinese state media correspondents have released a wave of footage showing that everything is fine with Peng.

Peng’s claims against Zhang were the first time that China’s #MeToo movement has touched the top positions of the ruling Communist Party.





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