The Chinese tennis player who accused a senior government official of rape has disappeared
Suspicious question marks: Former 35-year-old Chinese tennis player Feng Shui, who unprecedentedly accused a senior government official of sexually assaulting her for about 10 years, has disappeared. “There is a concern that something may have happened to her, her silence since the publication raises concerns,” wrote an American journalist living in China. One estimate is that the tennis player fled the country, the United States or Europe, but there is no verification.The Women’s Tennis Association today (Monday) demanded that the Chinese government investigate Shawi’s allegations of sexual harassment. In addition, the association demands that the government put an end to the problematic censorship, which they claim does not allow similar serious cases to be published and stopped. The Chinese leadership did not respond to a request for comment.

Shawi, who won two Grand Slam tournaments in doubles and was ranked 14th in the world in singles, posted a poignant 1,600-word post to the Vivo network, a social network similar to Twitter and very common in China. In the post, she accused Zhang Gauli, China’s deputy prime minister from 2018-2013 and a member of the Communist Party’s Supreme Council, of sexual harassment for about 10 years. Censorship immediately mimics the post.

Zhang Geuli, former Deputy Prime Minister of China | Photo: AP

According to CNN Hong Kong reports, the post was written as an open letter to Geuli in which Shawi described the difficult relationship she had with the senior, now 75: “Why did you have to come back to me all the time, take me to your house and force me to have sex with you?” Former tennis player. “I can not describe how disgusted I felt, how many times I asked myself if I was still human? I felt like a walking body. Every day I asked myself who I really am.”

As in the rest of the world, in China too the METOO movement is gaining momentum and helping women in the country to uncover the stories of the harassment they have gone through. But this is the first time a story of sexual assault, ostensibly, by such a senior figure in the leadership has been revealed. “Shawi is a real heroine with a lot of courage,” said one of the leaders of the feminist movement in China. “She knows her words can hurt her and her family’s confidence – but she nonetheless revealed the story for the sake of the other women who may have experienced something similar.”

 

Censorship in China acted very quickly to erase any trace of Shawi’s post. It is deleted from the web in just 30 minutes from the moment of publication, with any citation or screenshot deleted as well. Any post that talks about the case – is also deleted. Shawi’s profile on “Vivo” remains in place, but his last tweet is the one before the harassment was revealed and the profile was blocked for searches.

By Editor

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