A day after images of the Chinese tennis star Peng Suaj, believed to be of symbolic value, were taken in his home, video footage was now released. However, the recordings do not come from the athlete’s own account, but were shared on Twitter by non-incidentally banned people in China who were considered to be the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party.
According to Western media sources, the purpose of the publication is to allay fears about Peng’s condition and stay. But it is already suspicious in itself that the tennis player does not say a word on the footage as it can be learned, smiles and applauds.
Peng Shuai showed up at the opening ceremony of a teenager tennis match final in Beijing on Sunday morning. Global Times photo reporter Cui Meng captured her at scene. pic.twitter.com/7wlBcTMgGy
— Hu Xijin Hu Xijin (@HuXijin_GT) November 21, 2021
Several footage was published by state press staff. In these, Peng is said to be attending the opening of a youth tennis cup, autographing volleyball-sized tennis balls to promote the sport to Chinese children.
And in another shot, he walks into a restaurant he’s stuffededitor-in-chief of the Global Times with another recording of Peng’s coach drinking his words at the dinner table. In addition to making the whole scene look forced, the coach seems to be saying it out: he’ll be 20 tomorrow, and a woman will correct that he won’t be 21. Meanwhile, the editor-in-chief in the Twitter post claims that the video was made on Saturday, the 20th.
I acquired two video clips, which show Peng Shuai was having dinner with her coach and friends in a restaurant. The video content clearly shows they are shot on Saturday Beijing time. pic.twitter.com/HxuwB5TfBk
— Hu Xijin Hu Xijin (@HuXijin_GT) November 20, 2021
But the videos do just the opposite of what they want, raising new questions. Who recorded the videos? Why does the party editor-in-chief stress in the post that the video was apparently made on Saturday? And why is the mood of the videos such that they could even have been recorded in North Korea?
The footage of the tennis cup was recorded by the newspaper reporter attributed anyway.
Peng’s emergence did not convince the organization representing women’s professional tennis players (WTA) of the athlete’s well-being. The head of the organization, Steve Simon, also stressed that while it was good to see Peng, it was still not clear that he could move and act freely and no one would blackmail or force him.
The tennis star was targeted by the Chinese authorities in early November. The 35-year-old athlete has published a lengthy essay in Chinese social media accusing former Deputy Prime Minister Chang Gao-li of rape, essentially launching the #meetoo movement in patriarchal China. The entry was canceled by censors almost immediately and Peng disappeared from the public eye. He was later given a life signal by posting a screenshot of an email attributed to Peng on Twitter as well. In this letter to the WTA, the alleged Peng states that his accusations are not real, he is resting at home and everything is in the greatest order.