Peng Shuai: China shows irritation with suspension of tennis tournaments

Foreign Affairs says it is against the politicization of sport

Published in 03/12/2021 - 19:28 By Brenda Goh e Frank Pingue - Pequim (China)

China expressed irritation last Thursday (2) with the suspension of tournaments by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) in the country, a measure taken in solidarity with tennis player Peng Shuai, after she carried out an accusation of sexual assault and then disappeared.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin did not directly mention the WTA, but he said emphatically that China "opposes the politicization of sport."

In an editorial, the Global Times newspaper, published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily, said the WTA is betraying the Olympic spirit and taking politics to tennis.

“Some Western forces are instigating a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics,” the text added, referring to the February event that some activist groups want to see boycotted due to China's human rights record.

Peng, a former doubles world number one, was not seen in public for nearly three weeks after posting a message on a social network in early November accusing former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex.

Neither Zhang, who retired in 2018, nor the Chinese government comment on Peng's claim. The topic is blocked on the Chinese internet, which is heavily censored.

Peng appeared at a dinner with friends and a children's tennis tournament in Beijing in mid-November, as shown by photos and videos published by Chinese state media journalists and event organizers.

Text translated using artificial intelligence.

Latest news