In early November, shocking accusations of tennis star Peng Shuai’s Weibo account were leveled against former Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli. Since then, Peng has disappeared. The comments and her Weibo account also quickly disappeared. World tennis champions Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic have publicly raised concerns about Pen’s safety and whereabouts. They called on China to launch a full and open investigation as soon as possible.
Recently, CGTN (China Global Television Network), the main overseas propaganda platform of the Chinese Communist Party, tweeted a screenshot of Peng’s letter to the President of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). The so-called “Peng letter” denies the accusations against Zhang and keeps the WTA from further scrutiny. However, this letter of dubious origin raised more concern than it dispelled.
In addition, the first Biden-Xi meeting has just taken place since Biden’s inauguration, and the Sixth Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party recently passed its third landmark resolution, paving the way for Xi’s re-election as party leader. What political motives are driving these developments and how will they affect US-China tensions and the global status quo?
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