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    A tennis star who took to social media to accuse a former Chinese government official of sexual assault has had her post removed.

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      peng shuai sexual assault

      Tennis Star Silenced After Accusing Former Chinese Leader of Sexual Assault

      A tennis star who took to social media to accuse a former Chinese government official of sexual assault has had her post removed.

      Peng Shuai became the latest woman to join China’s #MeToo movement when she accused 75-year-old former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.

      Shuai’s account were removed within 30 minutes of the allegations being posted.

      Gaoli was a member of the ruling Communist Party.

      Peng Shuai Sexual Assault Allegations

      Peng Shuai posted her sexual assault allegations against Zhang Gaoli on Weibo, a leading Chinese social media platform.

      She claimed that she had been pressured by the 75-year-old into having sex following a round of tennis in 2018.

      The post was more than 1,600 words long. In it, the 35-year-old tennis star alleged that she had an on and off relationship with Gaoli over at least 10 years.

      “Why did you have to come back to me, took me to your home to force me to have sex with you?” she wrote.

      It is unclear whether the allegations involved sexual touching for extended to sexual intercourse without consent.

      “I couldn’t describe how disgusted I was, and how many times I asked myself am I still a human? I feel like a walking corpse. Every day I was acting, which person is the real me?”

      China’s #MeToo movement has targeted academics, NGO workers and celebrities in the. This is the first time allegations have surfaced against a Communist Party member.

      “We must realize how remarkable it is for Peng Shuai to choose to speak out. Few people would have the courage to do that, because it could come at the expense of the safety of yourself and your family,” said Lv Pin, a prominent Chinese feminist now based in New York.

      Shuai previously competed in Grand Slams at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014.

      Peng Shuai Weibo Post Removed

      However, Peng Shuai’s post was removed within half an hour. A search on Weibo for Peng’s account now turns up no results – although her account is still visible. All comment sections under her previous posts have been shut down too.

      Screenshots of the post had initiallycirculated across social media and in private chat groups. However, these were also censored too.

      Efforts to silence discussion extended to a Weibo discussion page about tennis which was closed for comments.

      On Douban, China’s IMDB-like movie review website, the page of Korean romance TV show “Prime Minister and I” was censored, after users discussed Peng’s case in its review

      Zhang Gaoli

      Zhang Gaoli served on the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s supreme leadership body, from 2012 to 2017. This was during Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s first term in power. He retired as vice premier in 2018.

      It is clear that the former Vice Premier will not face any sexual assault charges.

      Wang Wenbin, spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, refused to answer questions on the matter during a news conference stating, “I haven’t heard of it and this isn’t a question about diplomacy.”

      Media outlets have reached out to Zhang for comment but did not receive any response.

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