What Peng Shuai described was the R word. Now she recants

“That’s Peng Shuai’s business. But fans and media are correct to worry. Thank you. Many women are in similar or worse circumstances in China. If Peng Shuai wishes to receive confidential counselling or discuss her situation, she can visit RapeIsNoJoke.com as tens of thousands of persons have done over the years including high profile visitors who are still anonymous,” says Geraldine Frisque of RINJ Women who have operated the global HelpLine service for nearly twenty years.

by Melissa Hemingway and Katie Alsop

Peng Shuai has recanted any perception that her 2 November 2021 Weibo post was an allegation of wrongdoing. Her recant was in an interview with French sports daily L’Équipe in the past 24 hours.  Watch video:


“There is plenty about the Peng Shuai case that has a familiar and troubling ring,” explains Sara Qin, a nurse trained in China, now having left the country, working in a women’s health facility in Asia, operated by The Nurses Without Borders.

“By normal, I refer to The RINJ Foundation‘s experiences dealing with women and children in an oppressive environment where gender-based violence is a feature of the relationship between the oppressor and women and children. I do not mean anything in a positive vein. These are the features we know happen often:

  1. “It is normal for hot and cold flare ups that make it into a public forum for persons in a complicated and abusive relationship where nonconsenting intimate relations are almost a norm.
  2. “When  the strongest and concomitant  offending partner makes some form of amends, the offended party recants their allegations.”

“There is nothing about Ms. Peng’s recant that we accept as being genuinely non-coerced,” injected Monique Deslauriers, who joined the interview via encrypted app. Ms. Deslauriers is a USA-based director of The RINJ Foundation.

Ms. Deslauriers went on to say that her organization is presently investigating specific complaints about missing women who have been accused of being Falun Dafa/Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong is a quasi-spiritual/health organization that has revived some Chinese health and fitness traditions.

Zhang Gaoli - Peng Shuai

File Photo: Accused of non-consensual extramarital intercourse, is a crime in international law because of the lack of unequivocal consent , is former Vice Premiere of China, Zhang Gaoli, left, shown here from from U.S. Department of State  (State Department photo/ Public Domain) and Peng Shuai taken by “si robi /Flikr”


Author’s note: Below is a translation of what Ms. Peng said on 2 November 2021 in a Weibo post. It is a heartbreakingly sad story of sexual exploitation of a young woman, the kind of story many Chinese girl athletes know. In China, athletes are sent away from their homes at a very early age. From the crucial years between 5 and 14, children miss the love of their moms and dads while rigorously training in the Chinese totalitarian regime’s clinical training facilities, away from love and positive empathy and emotion. Hence these kids grow up working hard every day, as love-starved young women, chattels of the state, and vulnerable. They are constantly exploited, often by many men, as the vulnerable ‘assets‘ search for something called love.

On 2 November 2021 Weibo post  Peng Shuai wrote: [Translated]

“I know I cannot explain this clearly, and even if I say it, it won’t matter, but I still want to let it out. I am a hypocrite. I admit I am not a good woman, and am in fact, a very very bad woman. About three years ago, Zhang Gaoli vice president, you retired. You asked Dr. Liu at the Tianjin Tennis Centre to contact me, and asked me to play tennis with you at Kang Ming Hotel in Beijing.

“After we finished playing tennis, you and your wife Kang Jie brought me to your home. Then you took me into your room. Like what happened ten years ago in Tianjin, you wanted to have sex with me.

“That afternoon I was very afraid. I did not expect this to happen, you had someone guard outside the room, because your wife must not know this is happening.

“About seven years ago, we had sex. Then later on after you got promoted to be a member of the Politburo Standing Committee in Beijing, you never contacted me again. I used to bury everything inside me. After all, if you didn’t want to take any responsibility, why did you come back for me, and brought me to your home to have sex?

“It is true that I don’t have evidence. It is also not possible to leave evidence. Later on you kept denying, but it is true that you were attracted to me first, otherwise I couldn’t have been able to come into contact with you.

“That afternoon I didn’t agree, and I kept crying. I had dinner with you and auntie Kang Jie together. You said the universe is very very big. The earth is merely a speck of sand in the universe, and we human beings are smaller than even a speck of sand. You said a lot more than that, and the purpose was basically to persuade me to drop my guard. After dinner, I was still not willing to have sex. You said you hated me. You said in those seven years, you never forgot me, and you will treat me well etc. I was terrified and anxious. Taking into consideration the affection I had for you seven years ago, I agreed. yes, we had sex.

“Romantic attraction is such a complicated thing that explain it clearly. From that day on, I renewed my love for you. Throughout my time with you after that, purely based on our interactions, you were a very good person, and you treated me well. We talking about recent history, as well as ancient eras. You educated me on so many topics, and we had discussions about economics, politics. We never ran out of things to talk about. We played chess, sang, played table tennis, played pool and also played tennis together. We always had endless fun. It was as if our personalities fit perfectly together.

“I left home at an early age. On the inside, I am extremely deprived of love. In the middle of all of this, I never thought I was a good woman. I hated myself, I hated why I came to this world. You told me you loved me, very very much, and you said you hope in the next life, we can meet each other around the age of twenty, or eighteen. You said you were lonely. You pitied yourself for being alone. We had endless things to talk about, never ran out of topics. You said in your position, it is impossible to divorce. If we met in Shandong, you would have been able to divorce, but not now. I thought I would just accompany you quietly, not making any noise.

“At the beginning, everything was fine. But as went on, things started to change. There was so much unfairness and humiliation. Every time you asked me to go to your home, behind your back your wife said so many ugly and hurtful things to me. All kinds of jeer and mockery. I said I like to eat duck tongue. Auntie Kang Jie would go, “ew so disgusting”. In the winter when Beijing had poor air quality due to smog, auntie Kang Jie would say, “it is because you live in the countryside. We don’t feel that at all here”. Things like that, she said so much of them. When you were with me, she never said those things. It is similar to when we were together. When we were together alone, you acted one way, but when there were other people near by, you would act another way.

“I have told you this before, hearing those things made me feel very hurt and humiliated deep down. Since the first day when I knew you, I have never used a cent of your money, neither have I ever used you to obtain any benefits for myself, but this thing called reputation, is so important. Everything that has happened, I deserve it. I have brought everything upon myself.

“From the beginning to the end, you told me to keep our relationship a secret, and most importantly of all, I was to never tell my mom we were having sexual relationships. Because it was her who drives me to the Church of the Saviour every time, and then I would have to change to your car to be able to get into the gated apartment complex. She thought I was always just at your place to play Mahjong or poker. We were always just transparent individuals in each others lives. Your wife was like the queen in The Legend of Zhen Huan TV show, while words couldn’t describe how embarrassed I felt.

“There were so many times where I thought, am I still a human? I thought I was a soulless creature, faking every day, which one is the real me? I shouldn’t have come to this world, but I don’t have the courage to die.

“I really want to just live simply, but things turned out different than what I wanted. On the 30th, we argued very badly. You said on the afternoon on the 2nd, we would go to your home to slowly talk it out. Today at noon, you called to say you are busy, denied everything, made excuse to say we would talk another day and just like that, you withdrew again, just like seven years ago.

“You played with me, and dumped me when you were done with me for sex. You said there were no transactions between us. Yes, that is true, our affection towards each other had nothing to do with money or power. But I have a hard time finding closure for, and coming to terms with our three year long relationship. You were always scared I would secretly bring a recording device, and leave evidence. That’s right, other than me, I do not have any evidence to prove what happened, no audio recording, no video taping. The only thing I have is memory from my own messed up self.

“For someone as prominent as yourself, I know you said you are not afraid. But it doesn’t matter if I’m hitting a rock with an egg, or being a moth that flies towards the flame, I am telling the truth about what happened between us. With your intelligence and wits I am sure you will either deny it, or blame it on me, or you could simply play it cool. You always say you hope your mother in heaven could bless you. I am a bad woman who doesn’t deserve to be a mother, but you are a father with both boy and girl. I have asked you this before, would you have done the same even to your adopted daughter? Do you still have the courage to face your mother after what you have done in your lifetime? We sure all like to pretend we are virtuous.”

Peng Shuai [Translated]