Paris Warns Beijing of Diplomatic Consequences Over Situation With Tennis Star Peng Shuai
© REUTERS / via TWITTER @QINGQINGPARISChinese tennis player Peng Shuai signs large-sized tennis balls at the opening ceremony of Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Final in Beijing, China November 21, 2021, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. TWITTER @QINGQINGPARIS via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
PARIS (Sputnik) - France will take diplomatic measures against China if tennis player Peng Shuai, who has disappeared from the public for several weeks after accusing former Chinese vice-premier of sexual assault, does not speak out, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday.
"I’m waiting for one thing only, for Madame Shuai to speak out. If the Chinese authorities want to clarify the situation, they need to let her speak, so that she says where she lives, what she does... If not, they will have to face diplomatic consequences," Le Drian said on the RTL radio broadcast.
The tennis star has disappeared from the public eye after publishing on November 2 a statement on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, accusing the Chinese former 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, sparking concerns for her safety.
Several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have demanded Beijing provide verifiable evidence of Peng's safety and whereabouts. The global tennis community also joined the demands and called for a full and impartial investigation into the allegations of sexual assault by the former vice premier.
On Sunday, the tennis star finally appeared in public for the first time in several weeks at the opening ceremony of a teenager tennis match final in Beijing.