Joe Biden expressed his concerns about the whereabouts of Peng Shuai, the missing Chinese tennis player who has disappeared following her allegations against a former Chinese vice-premier of assault.
Joe Biden wants independent, verifiable proof
President Joe Biden has demanded China to “provide independent and verifiable proof” of Peng Shuai’s whereabouts, in the wake of the Chinese state media publishing a “letter” that was allegedly written by the tennis star.
Peng Shuai’s mysterious disappearance took a twist when a Chinese journalist who works for the Chinese government-controlled CGTN, Shen Shiwei, posted photos of the tennis star on Twitter.
Shen alleged that the photos were shared by the tennis star herself on her WeChat profile, accompanied by a caption: “happy weekend” – he also alleged that the photos were also shared by Peng Shuai’s friends.
A Chinese state media journalist, Hu Xijin (who writes for The Global Times – a branch of People’s Daily, which is the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party) also said that Peng has been staying at her own home and will appear in public to make an appearance “soon”.
Pressure on China
Jen Psaki, the press secretary of the White House, issued a statement on behalf of President Biden, telling reporters on Friday that they are joining in the calls for China to provide independent and verifiable proof of her (Peng Shuai’s) whereabouts and that she is safe.
She highlighted that they are aware of China’s zero tolerance for criticism as well as their infamous record of silencing those who speak out against them, and she reiterated the US’s condemnation of it.
Missing since allegations surfaced
Peng Shuai, the former Wimbledon doubles champion, went missing after alleging on social media that she was assaulted by a former government official after a tennis session at his home.
Her post has since been taken down on Weibo – with neither the government official in question nor the government coming out to address the claims.