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China silent on arrest of Australian journalist

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on September 1, 2020 - Duration: 01:18s

China silent on arrest of Australian journalist

Australia does not know why Chinese authorities have detained Australian citizen and television anchor Cheng Lei, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said on Tuesday, adding to the mystery of why the journalist has been taken into custody.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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China silent on arrest of Australian journalist

Australia says it still does not know why Chinese authorities have detained an Australian citizen and television anchor, Cheng Lei, who worked for China's state television CGTN.

This was Australia's Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Tuesday (September 1): "We're working through any details in terms of the consular assistance that we can provide and we will give all assistance that we can.

Obviously this is a concerning time for her family, and that's why we will continue to provide every bit of assistance that we can within the usual consular terms." The Australian government confirmed on Monday (August 30) evening that Cheng was detained two weeks ago.

Cheng hosted a business show on the English channel of China's largest state media broadcaster, CCTV, and was also an anchor on its English-language channel CGTN.

But Reuters found that videos of her have been removed from Chinese state media websites.

Authorities in China have not released information on her detention and the country's foreign ministry declined to comment on the specifics of her case at a regular briefing on Tuesday, only saying that it was working in accordance with the law.

A statement released by Cheng's family on Monday night said they are in close contact with Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs.

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Simon Birmingham

Australian politician

China Central Television

Chinese state television broadcaster

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