onsdag 3. november 2021

Chinese tennis star accuses former vice-premier of #MeToo abuse

The Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has apparently accused a former vice-premier of sexual assault, engulfing the highest echelons of Beijing’s ruling Communist party in a #MeToo scandal for the first time. Authorities scrambled to stop the allegations from spreading, with online censors even appearing to block the word “tennis”.

In a now-deleted post on one of her social media accounts, Peng, 35, said she and Zhang Gaoli, 75, had an on-off extramarital “relationship” over several years, which she said he tried to keep secret. Peng said Zhang had stopped contacting her after he rose in the ranks of the Communist party, and that at one point he expressed concern that she might tape their encounters. About three years ago, she wrote, Zhang invited her to play tennis with him and his wife and then sexually assaulted her in his house. “I never consented that afternoon, crying all the time,” she wrote.

Peng’s post on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site similar to Twitter, was not visible on Wednesday, suggesting it may have been deleted, and the Guardian was unable to confirm its authenticity.