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Chinese-Australian TV News Anchor Arrested by Chinese Regime
A Chinese Australian news anchor at CGTN, the international arm of the Chinese regime’s state broadcaster, has been detained in Beijing amid testy relations between Canberra and Beijing. Australian foreign minister Marise Payne confirmed the arrest of Cheng Lei, a Chinese-born, naturalized Australian citizen and host of a business show that airs on the Chinese state-owned network. According to a ministry statement released on August 31, Beijing notified the Australian government of Cheng’s detention more than two weeks ago. The statement reads: “Australian officials had an initial consular visit with Ms. Cheng at a detention facility via video link on 27 August and will continue to provide assistance and support to her and her family.” The foreign minister said the department wouldn’t provide further comment, “owing to the Government’s privacy obligations.” Chinese authorities haven’t explained why Cheng was arrested. Cheng, 49, is the second Chinese Australian detained by Chinese authorities since 2019, as bilateral tensions escalated over issues such as trade, Beijing’s tightening control on Hong Kong, and the Chinese regime’s handling of the CCP virus outbreak.