Beijing: China remained silent on Monday over growing clamour for tennis player Peng Shuai, whose whereabouts are not known since accusing a powerful politician of sexual assault. This is the first time the #MeToo movement has entered the top echelons of the ruling Communist Party of China.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) confirmed on Sunday for Peng’s claims to be “investigated fully, fairly, transparently and without censorship.” Also, the current and former players took to social media to express apprehensions about the safety of the former Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion.
“I have not heard of the issue you raised. This is not a diplomatic question,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. He made no further comment on the fate of the sportsperson.
China’s national tennis association also did not respond to the agency’s requests for comment.
The WTA’s chairman Steve Simon said the events concerning Peng were “of deep concern” and called for her allegations to be “treated with the utmost seriousness”. He said via a statement.
“Our absolute and unwavering priority is the health and safety of our players. We are speaking out so justice can be done,” said the statement.