Australian journalist Cheng Lei has been detained in China since 14 August. The presenter of the China Global Television Network (CGTN) has been accused by the country’s authorities of being involved in suspicious activities that threaten China’s national security. Chinese officials announced this on Tuesday. A day earlier, two other Australian journalists working in China left Beijing. This information has been revealed by the British media BBC report.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) journalist Bill Bartels and Australian Financial Review (AFR) Mike Smith arrived in Sydney on Tuesday after five days of diplomatic tension. Before leaving Beijing, Chinese officials questioned both journalists. According to ABC, Bertels was interviewed not about his journalism or conduct, but about Cheng Lei of CGTN.
Australian citizen Cheng Lei lives in Beijing. He is honored as a business journalist for the English language CGTN. She suddenly disappeared from the television screen in August. His communication with relatives and friends was also cut off. Chinese officials say he is under house arrest. However, he was not told where he was placed. No charges have been laid against him.
But on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the government had detained Cheng Lei for national security reasons. The authorities are taking mandatory action against him. He also said that investigations are going on against him.