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US to keep close watch on Chinese Tennis player Peng Shuai

Washington: The US is "closely monitoring" the case of Chinese Tennis player Peng Shuai whose whereabouts have been in question after she made allegations of sexual impropriety against a former Chinese Vice President.

The US State Department on Monday stated that it would keep a look at the developments in the Chinese Tennis player's disappearance and sexual allegation case, reported Kyodo News.

"We share the concern that has been expressed around the world as we all want her of course to be safe. Rest assured we are closely following her and the situation," US State Department spokesman Ned Price told at a press conference.

Price, additionally mentioned that the US supports individuals to report sexual assault cases and they need to be thoroughly investigated. He further blamed and accused Beijing of taking "essentially a zero-tolerance approach for criticism" and silencing, those who attempt to speak out, reported Kyodo News.
Pertinently, Peng interacted with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through video conferencing on Sunday and mentioned that she is "safe and well," at her home in Beijing. People are concerned if Peng was forced or is she able to communicate without censorship or force, reported Kyodo News.

Price's remarks are following US President Joe Biden's statement made on Thursday, where he mentioned that he is considering a "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Olympics to be held in February. No US representative will attend the Olympics, although this is not applicable for US athletes.

The recent step by Biden is considered as a response to China's alleged human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the western Xinjiang region. The US has tagged the incident "genocide" reported Kyodo News.

The United Kingdom is concerned for the safety of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who temporarily disappeared after accusing a senior Chinese politician of sexual assault, and demands that Beijing allow her to speak out without fear of repercussions, the country's foreign ministry told RIA Novosti.

The global tennis community also joined the demands and called for a full and impartial investigation into the allegations of sexual assault against the former vice-premier.

Peng disappeared from public view after publishing on November 2 a statement on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, accusing the former Chinese vice-premier, 75-year-old Zhang Gaoli, of sexually assaulting her. The post was immediately deleted, Peng's accounts were removed from the Chinese social networks and the athlete stopped communicating, raising concerns for her safety.

Source:

www.deccanchronicle.com

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