China, on Tuesday has announced it’s detainment of a high-profile Australian journalist working for its state media on “national security grounds”.
Cheng Lei’s detention was considered to be a fresh wound to the deteriorating relations between the two countries that have seen China warn its citizens of travelling to Australia and vice versa.
In the first comments made on CGTN, Cheng Lei, has been held since August 14. The foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the authorities took “compulsory measures” against her on suspicion “of criminal activity endangering China’s national security”. Although he did not give further details of the allegations leveled against her, he said;
“The case is still in the process of investigation in accordance with the law,”
“her legal rights and interests are all receiving full legal protection”.
“As long as foreign journalists obey the law… they have no reason to worry,”
Two other Australian reporters Bill Birtles and Michael Smith had fled China overnight, as they also feared arrest.