December 20 (THEWILL) – Peng Shuai said in a recent interview that she made no complaints of sexual assault and that “there has been a lot of misunderstanding.”
THEWILL recalls that former French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion Peng Shuai had accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her into a sexual relationship in November.
Peng then went missing for about three weeks, causing significant alarm around the world.
Despite China’s repeated attempts to reassure the international community, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has decided to cancel all competitions in China due to their failure and refusal to comply.
Peng claimed this in an interview with the pro-Beijing Singaporean news site Lianhe Zaobao: “I wanted to make this very clear: I have never claimed, or written about anyone having sexually assaulted me.”
“With regards to Weibo (Chinese social media website), it’s about my personal privacy … There’s been a lot of misunderstanding … There [should be] no distorted interpretation.”
“First, I need to stress one point that is extremely important, I have never said or written that anyone has sexually assaulted me, I have to clearly stress this point.”
This is the first time Peng has spoken publicly about her condition on video.
After a few weeks of silence on the subject, the interview has sparked more alarm. Yaqiu Wang of Human Rights Watch China criticised the interview on Twitter, saying sarcastically, “Wow, so natural, very real, everyone now believes it.” “Congratulations, the CCP!”
The WTA immediately followed the interview with a statement that read: “It was again good to see Peng Shuai in a public setting and we certainly hope she is doing well.
“As we have consistently stated, these appearances do not alleviate or address the WTA’s significant concerns about her well-being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion.
“We remain steadfast in our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern.”