China, tennis player Peng Shuai disappeared: accused former vice premier of rape

The Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has disappeared who, on 2 November last, had published a post on the social Weibo accusing the former deputy premier and former member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Politburo, Zhang Gaoli, now a 75-year-old retired, of having forced her in the past to a relationship and raping her. Gaoli between 2013 and 2018 was one of the 7 most powerful men in China. The accusation message against him shortly after publication was censored and disappeared from the social network but the screenshots spread like wildfire.

Vanished into thin air

Since then Peng Shuai, 35, she never communicated or made public appearances, as if she had vanished into thin air. Meanwhile, the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai has started on Twitter, which is blocked in China. “Where is Peng? I’m worried, give us news”, comments the American Chris Evert, who in the 70s triumphed in 18 Grand Slams. Meanwhile, the Women’s Tennis Association also intervened to ask for an investigation into the case and an end to censorship. “His accusation of the conduct of a former Chinese leader in a case of sexual assault must be treated with the utmost seriousness,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement.