'Concern' as Australian journalist detained in Beijing
'Concern' as Australian journalist detained in Beijing
Cheng Lei: Australian anchor on Chinese TV detained in China
03 September, 2020, 06:00
The Group of Eight, a coalition of Australia's leading research universities, has blasted the plan, with top representatives of the higher learning sector issuing warnings that Australia will be "in really serious trouble" without global partnerships and that Australian scientists have been vilified just because they worked with Chinese counterparts.
Australian Karm Gilespie was sentenced to dying in China in June, seven years after he was arrested and billed with attempting to board an worldwide flight with much more than 7.5 kilograms (16.5 lbs.) of methamphetamine.
In her spare time, Cheng was active in the Australian community in Beijing, taking part in events at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and acting as an "alumni ambassador" for the country's embassy.
The Chinese regime is feigning ignorance about this Australian journalist's disappearance. The ministry said it conducted a virtual consular visit last Thursday with Cheng, who is being held at a detention facility.
The Australian government received a "formal notification" of Cheng Lei's detention on August 14, according to a statement released by Marise Payne, Australia's minister for foreign affairs.
At some point on, or soon after, August 12, the Chinese government kidnapped her.
"We are aware of the current situation with regard to Cheng Lei's status as advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade", her family said in a statement provided to the ABC. Payne only mentioned that "the government will not comment further on this matter to ensure privacy".
In the months since Australia pushed for an worldwide inquiry into China's handling of Covid-19, China has increased tariffs on Australian barley, citing dumping, and banned imports from some abattoirs over alleged compliance issues.
"I've actually met her and been interviewed by her while overseas myself". "We will continue.to work as best we can in providing her and her family with assistance through what is no doubt a stressful and hard time for them, " he added.
Ms Cheng is a high-profile reporter and presenter covering business and politics for CGTN, China's English- language state broadcaster, which is owned by China Central Television. Australian news outlets say she is being held under a form of detention called "residential surveillance at a designated location" which means she could be held for several months.
Dr Lin described Ms Cheng as a "really great bridge between China and Australia" and someone who was not outspoken about her political beliefs.
Cheng has two children who are in Australia.
"We are in close consultation with DFAT and doing everything we can as a family to support Cheng Lei". Her videos and stories have mysteriously been deleted from the website of her employer.
China has been clear in linking Australia's call for a virus investigation to actions by the Trump administration, which has hit Beijing on everything from data security regarding popular apps TikTok and WeChat to human-rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
She has reported major Chinese events including Beijing's 2008 Olympics and Shanghai's 2010 World Expo.
Cheng is the second high-profile Australian citizen to be detained in Beijing after writer Yang Hengjun was arrested in January 2019 on suspicion of espionage. The case has not yet been heard. Some commentators believe that these cases are directly related to the deteriorating relations between China and Australia over a period of time.
On Tuesday morning the hawkish state media mouthpiece, the Global Times, ran several articles and op-eds, warning Australia over the move, and accused it of "unprovoked attacks in normal economic exchanges", and of blindly following the U.S. in anti-China rhetoric.
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