Missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai is staying in her home "freely" and will make a public appearance soon, an influential state-media editor claims
- Chinese state media have said that Peng Shuai is safe and will make a public appearance soon.
- Other media outlets have been unable to verify the statement independently or the images shared.
Missing tennis player Peng Shuai is safe and will make a public appearance "soon," claimed a leading figure in China's state media.
Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin tweeted that he could confirm Shuai is at her home "freely" and "didn't want to be disturbed." He said, "she will show up in public and participate in some activities soon."
The English-language Global Times is owned and published by the People's Daily, the newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party.
—Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) November 20, 2021
Other media outlets have been unable to affirm these images, with Reuters reporting that they could not independently verify their authenticity.
The Chinese tennis star has not been seen since November 2, when she wrote on the social media site Weibo that former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli had coerced her into sex and that they had also had a tumultuous consensual relationship.
"Why did you come and look for me again, take me to your house, and force me into sex? I have no proof, and it would be impossible for me to keep any evidence. You denied everything afterward," the 35-year-old wrote.
The post only remained live for 20 minutes, Insider's Rebecca Cohen and Jake Epstein explained her disappearance in a timeline.
Neither Zhang Gaoli nor the Chinese government has responded to these allegations.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that President Joe Biden wants "verifiable" proof of missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai's well-being.
"Any report of sexual assault should be investigated and we support a woman's ability to speak out and seek accountability, whether here or around the world," Psaki said, Insider's Jake Epstein reported.
She added: "We will continue to stand up for the freedom of speech and we know that the [Chinese government] has zero-tolerance for criticism and a record of silencing those who speak out."
Tennis star Naomi Osaka took to Twitter to express her concern for Shuai, a former US Open semifinalist, saying she was "in shock" at the situation.
—NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) November 16, 2021
The Women's Tennis Association has threatened to pull out of Chinese events if they cannot "speak directly" to Shuai and confirm her safety. Insider's Sam Cooper has the full story.
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