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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

China’s high-profile disappearances earlier than Peng Shuai embody Jack Ma, actress Fan Bingbing

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The disappearance of tennis star Peng Shuai in China following her accusation of sexual assault in opposition to a former high Communist Occasion official has shined a highlight on related {cases} involving political dissidents, entertainers, enterprise leaders and others who’ve run afoul of the authorities.

A take a look at these {cases} and the background on such actions.

WHAT HAPPENED TO PENG SHUAI?

Regardless of an outcry within the tennis world and world media, Chinese language officers haven’t straight addressed the accusation posted on-line by Grand Slam doubles champion Peng greater than two weeks in the past. Peng mentioned she was sexually assaulted by Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier and member of the social gathering’s omnipotent Politburo Standing Committee.

Peng, 35, is a former No. 1-ranked participant in girls’s doubles who received titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. She additionally participated in three Olympics, making her disappearance all of the extra distinguished with Beijing set to host the Winter Video games beginning Feb. 4.

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China’s Shuai Peng serves the ball to France’s Caroline Garcia throughout their second spherical match of the French Open tennis match on the Roland Garros stadium, Thursday, Might 31, 2018, in Paris. 
(AP Picture/Michel Euler, File)

CHINESE OFFICIALS SILENT ON MISSIN GTENNIS STAR AFTER SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIM, XI CRACKDOWN MAY BE CONNECTED

Peng wrote in a prolonged social media publish on Nov. 2 that Zhang had pressured her to have intercourse three years in the past, regardless of her repeated refusals. The publish was shortly deleted from her verified account on Weibo, a number one Chinese language social media platform, however screenshots of the explosive accusation shortly unfold throughout China’s web.

WHY DO PEOPLE DISAPPEAR IN CHINA?

China says it’s a nation “dominated by regulation,” however the Communist Occasion in the end holds sway and there are giant grey areas of enforcement. Management over the press and social media permits authorities to maintain phrase of disappearances quiet and to stonewall critics, though such information typically progressively surfaces by way of underground and international sources.

Amongst Chinese language celebrities within the leisure world, tangling with the authorities could be a profession killer. For enterprise leaders, it may well imply a lack of standing, market entry and potential incarceration. With political dissidents, it typically means disappearance into the huge safety state, with out entry to household or authorized recourse.

Even earlier than taking energy in 1949, the Communist Occasion underwent quite a few rounds of vicious internecine struggles throughout which these on the dropping facet have been disposed of with out due course of. The 1966-76 Cultural Revolution noticed politicians, educators and musicians locked up for years with out cost, typically in solitary confinement.

WTA CHAIRMAN CASTS DOUBT ON EMAIL FROM MISSING CHINESE TENNIS STAR: ‘ONLY RAISES MY CONCERNS’

As we speak, the social gathering’s Central Fee for Self-discipline Inspection handles most main prices in opposition to rating officers, who could drop out of sight for months earlier than a terse assertion is issued saying they’re beneath investigation for “extreme violations of guidelines and laws.” Heavy sentences are later introduced, with little or no particulars given in regards to the prices or the proof introduced in opposition to them.

FChina's Shuai Peng plays a shot against Romania's Sorana Cirstea during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France. Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Chinese authorities have squelched virtually all online discussion of sexual assault accusations apparently made by the Chinese professional tennis star against a former top government official, showing how sensitive the ruling Communist Party is to such charges.

FChina’s Shuai Peng performs a shot in opposition to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea throughout their first spherical match of the French Open tennis match on the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France. Tuesday, Might 30, 2017. Chinese language authorities have squelched just about all on-line dialogue of sexual assault accusations apparently made by the Chinese language skilled tennis star in opposition to a former high authorities official, displaying how delicate the ruling Communist Occasion is to such prices.
(AP Picture/Michel Euler, File)

WHAT FAMOUS PEOPLE HAVE GONE MISSING?

Notable individuals who have dropped from sight beneath circumstances that stay unclear embody enterprise chief Jack Ma and well-known actress Fan Bingbing.

Ma, China’s most distinguished entrepreneur and the founding father of Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-commerce firm, stopped showing in public after he criticized regulators as being too conservative in an October 2020 speech.

Days later, the federal government ordered Ma’s Ant Group, a monetary service that grew out of Alibaba’s on-line funds enterprise, to droop a deliberate inventory market debut in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Rumors on social media questioned whether or not Ma had been detained. Pals of Ma reportedly mentioned he wasn’t detained however determined to remain quiet following criticism of his feedback. Ma reappeared two months later in a January 2020 video launched by Alibaba however made no point out of his disappearance.

Fan disappeared for 3 months earlier than information emerged that tax authorities had ordered her and firms she represented to pay taxes and penalties totaling $130 million.

Folks can drop off the map if they’re linked to disputes with the politically well-connected involving enterprise and repute.

MENG HONGWEI’S WIFE SAYS HUSBAND WORKED FOR ‘MONSTER’ CHINESE GOVERMENT

Businesswoman Duan Weihong disappeared in 2017 and her husband, Desmond Shum, mentioned he didn’t hear from her for 4 years till he was getting ready to publish a guide about corruption amongst Chinese language elites. Shum instructed Time journal his spouse begged him in a cellphone name to not publish his guide, “Crimson Roulette.”

Duan, also referred to as Whitney Duan, was cited by The New York Occasions in a 2012 sequence of articles in regards to the household wealth of then-Premier Wen Jiabao, China’s No. 2 chief. It stays unclear what precisely prompted her disappearance.

An actual property mogul, Ren Zhiqiang, disappeared from public view in March 2020 after criticizing President Xi Jinping’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic. Ren was sentenced later that yr to 18 years in jail on corruption prices.

CHINSE AND THE US WILL EASE RESTRICTIONS ON EACH OTHER’S JOUNRALISTS

WHAT OTHER KINDS OF PEOPLE DISAPPEAR?

In a uncommon case that appeared within the open, Swedish citizen Gui Minhai disappeared in 2015, when he was believed to have been kidnapped by Chinese language brokers from his seaside residence in Thailand.

He and 4 others who labored for a similar Hong Kong firm that printed books crucial of the Communist Occasion all went lacking at about the identical time and turned up months later in police custody in mainland China.

A courtroom in japanese China later sentenced him to 10 years in jail for “illegally offering intelligence abroad.”

China has additionally snatched some foreigners.

Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been detained in China in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief monetary officer of Chinese language telecommunications large Huawei, on a U.S. extradition request. China delayed saying their detentions for days, then denied that the arrests have been linked. The 2 have been launched in September after Meng was allowed to return to China.

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Even a scientist, gene-editing researcher He Jiankui, disappeared from public view for nearly a yr after saying his controversial analysis at a convention in Hong Kong. He was ultimately convicted of practising medication with out a license in December 2019.

Accompanying the information of Peng’s disappearance, the spouse of the previous president of Interpol, who was taken into custody on a visit again to China in September 2018, told The Associated Press that she and her attorneys have been unable to contact him since that date.

State media reported that Meng Hongwei admitted taking bribes, however Grace Meng mentioned her husband was the sufferer of a political vendetta.



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