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'Missing' Chinese Tennis Star Reappears, Denies Wrongdoing by High-Ranking Party Official in First Remarks

  Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai made her first public comments in weeks Sunday, although it was uncertain if they were genuine or governmen...

 Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai made her first public comments in weeks Sunday, although it was uncertain if they were genuine or government propaganda.

A social media post from Peng dated Nov. 2 accused former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex against her will three years ago, according to Fox News. Since then, Peng has not been seen or heard from, and her social media account has been blocked.

In late November, China released state-issued videos that showed her to be alive, but questions remained.

“I am glad to see the videos released by China state-run media that appear to show Peng Shuai at a restaurant in Beijing.  While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference.  This video alone is insufficient,” Woman’s Tennis Association Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement.

“As I have stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about Peng Shuai’s health and safety and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug.  I have been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads,” he concluded.

On Sunday, Peng was videoed on the sidelines of a cross-country skiing event in Shanghai.

“First, I need to stress one point that is extremely important, I have never said or written that anyone has sexually assaulted me. I have to clearly stress this point,” Peng said in the video posted by Lianhe Zaobao, a Singapore media outlet, according to Reuters.

The Guardian described the outlet as “a Chinese-language publication under the state-controlled Singapore Press Holdings Limited.”

She said that her post on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, was a “private matter,” Reuters reported.

Peng said in the video that “people have many misunderstandings” about her post, but did not go into detail.

Peng claimed in the video she had not been under supervision while living at home in Beijing.

However, raising the question of whether the video was another piece of state-sponsored PR, Qingqing Chen, who works at the state-owned Global Times, posted a clip of the interview, in which Chinese basketball player Yao Ming. Is also shown.

“A friend sent me this video showing Chinese tennis star player Peng Shuai talked with Yao Ming, one of the most beloved players in @NBA history, this morning at an event ‘FIS Cross-Country Skiing China City Tour’ in Shanghai,” Chen wrote.

In the video, Peng is the only one without a mask.

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