Rep. Waltz on Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s disappearance: US cannot ‘turn a blind eye’

Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., warned the United States must not “turn a blind eye” to Chinese abuses after Tennis star Peng Shuai reportedly went missing shortly after alleging the former vice premier sexually assaulted her earlier this month. 

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The Florida congressman discussed the athlete’s reported disappearance on “Fox & Friends Weekend” Sunday and the letter he sent to the Chinese government demanding answers. 

“Imagine if the number one tennis star, a major sports celebrity in the United States, leveled a sexual assault allegation, a very credible one, saying that a major political figure like the vice president had abused them for years and then that athlete just disappeared off the face of the Earth,” Waltz posited. 

“That’s what’s happened in China… Everything’s been censored, and now she’s gone, and so the letter that we sent to the ambassador said, stop with the censorship, give us verifiable proof of her health and safety, and this needs to be fully investigated,” Waltz explained. 

Peng Shuai celebrates after beating Venus Williams in the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Oct. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Peng Shuai celebrates after beating Venus Williams in the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on Oct. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Despite the fact Chinese officials and state-backed media have been posting videos and photos of her in recent days, many critics are not buying the individual is her. 

Peng Shuai posted earlier this month on a Chinese social media platform alleging Former Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China Zhang Gaoli sexually abused her, but the content was quickly deleted and Shuai has since been allegedly missing for two weeks. 

Waltz has since sent a letter to the Chinese government demanding proof of her safety and health last week, and a probe into the allegations. 

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“We cannot have the American flag flying in Beijing, turning a blind eye to all of those abuses, plus COVID that they still won’t work with us on in terms of investigating,” Waltz explained when referencing the Olympics, scheduled to take place in February 2022. 

President Biden is even considering a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games over China’s record on human rights abuses. 

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