The European Union is pushing China to show a verifiable proof that Peng Shuai is indeed safe and well. Over the last 10 days, videos surfaced showed Peng at a restaurant and at a tennis event. However, the European Union is not buying it.
"Her recent public reappearance does not ease concerns about her safety and freedom," an EU spokesperson said on Tuesday, according to the AP. "The EU joins growing international demands, including by sport professionals, for assurances that she is free and not under threat.
"In this spirit, the EU requests the Chinese government to provide verifiable proof of Peng Shuai’s safety, well-being and whereabouts."
The EU calls for a proper investigation in the Peng claims
Peng went missing in China after accusing former China vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.
"The EU strongly opposes the use of the practice of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention...and calls upon China to comply with its human rights obligations under national and international law," an EU spokesperson added.
Last month, China called on people to stop maliciously hyping the Peng case. “I hope some people stop the deliberate and malicious hype, not to mention politicizing the issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference in Beijing last Tuesday, adding that it wasn’t a “diplomatic issue."
On Saturday, the WTA said it remains deeply concerned about Peng. "The WTA remains concerned about her ability to communicate freely, openly, and directly," the WTA stated in an email sent on Saturday. 10 WTA event are scheduled to take place in China next year.
WTA CEO Steve Simon threatened to pull out of all 10 events if Peng is not found safe and well. "If at the end of the day we don't see the appropriate results from this, we would be prepared to take that step and not operate our business in China, if that's what it came to," Simon said.