On Wednesday, Nov. 24, social media users discovered Winnie the Pooh, a symbol of anti-Communism in China, in a selfie of missing tennis player Peng Shuai.
An official Chinese propagandist reporter named Shen Shiwei posted the picture on Twitter, a social media platform which ordinary netizens cannot access in communist China.
Shen Shiwei reported that Peng used her WeChat account to upload the photographs of herself surrounded by cuddly animals. WeChat is a Chinese government-controlled communication app.
Peng can be seen in the picture holding a panda, behind her is a portrait with a photo of Peng with Winnie the Pooh, a character the Communist Party strictly censors, as reported by Braitbart.
China’s communist leadership banned Pooh in 2017, after pictures of Xi Jinping and Obama began circulating on social media alongside photos of Pooh and his cartoon pal Tigger. Chinese netizens used those images to mock the current CCP leader.
Peng was also seen in Adidas clothing, a brand which was subjected to a brief boycott in China this year when it announced that it would avoid using cotton harvested by slaves in China.
According to international observers, Peng is supposedly attempting to inform the world that she is still being held as a hostage.
Once considered the best doubles tennis player at Wimbledon and the French Open, Peng Shuai disappeared last November 2 after she reported on her Weibo account, the Chinese social network, that the former vice-premier of China, Zhang Gaoli, had sexually abused her. Her post vanished from Weibo almost instantly.
Peng is described as “fine” by Chinese regime-controlled media, according to Breitbart.
If Beijing does not handle the case effectively, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has warned to pull its business from China, which is valued at millions of dollars.
However, Thomas Batch, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), talked to Peng via video call and published an undated picture. The IOC said Peng is “fine” and said would meet Bach for dinner when he landed in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics next February.
China’s Foreign Ministry has ignored Peng’s rising appeals for freedom. On Tuesday, Nov. 23, spokesman Zhao Lijian shifted his position, saying that people worried about Peng were “deliberately and maliciously hyping up” the situation.
Intenartional community is still worried about Peng’s whereabouts, as the Chinese Communist Party regularly disappears inconvenient people.
Peng Shuai’s WeChat moments just posted three latest photos and said “Happy weekend”.— Shen Shiwei沈诗伟 (@shen_shiwei) November 19, 2021
Her friend shared the three photos and the screenshot of Peng’s WeChat moments. pic.twitter.com/tut8CEH6gu