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Case of Peng Shuai: China Calls For An End To "Malicious Allegations"

The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticizes the temporary disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai. The case is "fraudulently exaggerated".

The Chinese government has resisted international criticism of the prolonged disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai. "Some people should end their malicious allegations and not politicize this matter," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

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He pointed out that Peng did some activities in public. The spokesman also mentioned the video call with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach. "We hope that those sides will stop fraudulently exaggerating the matter." 

The IOC announced at the weekend that Bach had made a video call with the tennis player. She said she was safe. The Global Athlete sports association criticized the behavior of the IOC. The video call is not enough to prove that Peng is fine.

According to the IOC, she said she was living well in her Beijing home and that her privacy should be respected. In January she wants to meet with representatives of the IOC. Global Athlete accused the IOC of "complicity in the vicious propaganda of the Chinese authorities and their lack of interest in basic human rights and justice".

WTA is considering tournament cancellations in China

In early November, Peng Shuai published allegations of sexual assault by a top Chinese politician on the Weibo social network. The censors intervened immediately, deleted their mail and since then has prevented any discussion on China's Internet. The player was also not seen in public for about two weeks.

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As a result, the Chinese authorities released two videos allegedly showing the tennis player. The tennis organization WTA described the first video as dubious evidence. Most recently, the WTA threatened to cancel tournaments in China.

President Joe Biden's spokeswoman Jen Psaki called on China to "provide independent and verifiable evidence of their whereabouts and safety." Biden had previously announced that he would be dealing with a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also considering a boycott.

The affair about the world-class doubles player brings the IOC just under two and a half months before the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (February 4th to 20th) in dire straits. China is already under criticism for violating human rights.

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