Chinese star makes sex abuse allegations against former party leader Jiang Zemin

Peng Shuai said on Wednesday that the retired Chinese communist party leader Jiang Zemin had sexually assaulted her for years. Peng, a Taiwanese-born Chinese player, cited her father, a retired vice-chairman of China’s state sports association, for taking part in a campaign to blackball “troublemakers” from the Chinese Tennis Association, and continued that that Jiang had removed her license, and tried to interfere with her relationship with her coach in order to force her to change her matches. Peng also accused Jiang, who was once the most powerful figure in Chinese politics, of banning Chinese players from competing in the 1983 Asian Games in order to sideline Taiwanese players and support Jiang’s three sons, whose company won advertising contracts at the games.

There has been no denial of the allegations. In a statement, Jiang’s family rebutted the report on the news site Sina, stating that she has “no proof.” It also defended Jiang’s defense of the rule against Taiwanese players: “The campaign banned the entry of Taiwanese national athletes into the National Team, only athletes from the Peoples Republic of China. Jiang Zemin worked for China in many fields,” it said. (Jiang’s five-year term as general secretary of the party ended in 2002.) The Chinese Tennis Association, which is controlled by the state, has been very supportive of Jiang, who, like many other top figures in Chinese politics, has never been brought to trial.

In a brief interview with US Vice President Mike Pence in March, Jiang denied that he had ever had sexual relations with Peng. At that point, the scandal was merely unfolding, but because of the political ramifications, Peng has since been forced to deny it again, asserting that the story is “fabricated, false and lies,” and has been vehemently denying it since, according to Peng.

But, as in many situations, what you don’t know may be more interesting than what you do.

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