Written by: Ermat
On December 1, the International Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced the suspension of its tournaments in China, according to a report by Epoch Times on December 2. The incident started when Peng Shuai, a well-known Chinese tennis player, accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexually assaulting her, after which her whereabouts were unknown.
Peng Shuai sent out a message on Weibo on Nov. 2 accusing Zhang Gaoli, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and former vice premier of the CPC state, of sexual assault. The message was deleted about 30 minutes after it was sent. Peng Shuai’s name was then blocked and she fell into a state of disconnection. Simon said he wanted Peng’s health to be assured and demanded an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault by Zhang Gaoli. But the Communist Party leadership has not addressed the issue in any credible way. Peng Shuai’s situation is worrisome.
He added that “powerful people are silencing women’s voices” and that he would not tolerate that “happening to the WTA and its players. 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova said: “This is a brave gesture by Steve Simon and the WTA. We are putting our principles first and standing up for women everywhere, especially for Peng Shuai.”
Peng Shuai was born on January 8, 1986 and is a native of Xiangtan, Hunan Province. She is a Chinese women’s professional tennis player. Her highest singles world ranking is No. 14, and she has reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. On February 17, 2014, Peng Shuai and Xie Shuwei won the Doha Open, making her the No. 1 player in the world in doubles after Japan’s Ai Sugiyama.
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