Jen Psaki says Biden wants 'verifiable proof' from China of missing tennis star Peng Shuai's well-being

Jen Psaki says Biden wants 'verifiable proof' from China of missing tennis star Peng Shuai's well-being
Shuai Peng of China returns a shot during the match against Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia on Day 4 of 2020 WTA Shenzhen Open at Shenzhen Longgang Sports Center on January 8, 2020 in Shenzhen, ChinaPhoto by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images
  • Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden wants "verifiable" proof of Peng Shuai's well-being.
  • She said the White House calls on China to provide an "independent" account of her whereabouts.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday that President Joe Biden wants "verifiable" proof of missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai's well-being.

"We join in the calls for [Chinese] authorities to provide independent and verifiable proof of her whereabouts and that she is safe," Psaki told reporters at a briefing.

Shuai went missing from the public eye on November 2 after accusing a top Chinese politician of sexually assaulting her.

In a post on Chinese social media app Weibo that day, Shuai accused former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex with him, adding that the two also had a consensual relationship at times.

The post was quickly deleted from the site.


"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.

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, and we continue to condemn those practices."

Earlier this week, the Women's Tennis Organization Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement that Shuai's mysterious disappearance is "of deep concern." Tennis stars including Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams have also raised awareness of Shuai going missing.