Skip links

Female journalist accused of spying

After months of uncertainty, Chinese authorities have formally arrested Australian journalist Cheng Lei accusing her of supplying state secrets overseas. She has for several years worked as a presenter at Chinese state television channel CGTN but disappeared months ago. She is a China-born Australian citizen and has her family including two children in Australia.

Australian authorities have repeatedly tried to get more information about her situation after she suddenly disappeared from the TV channel and lost contact with her family. The Australian authorities have now confirmed that she has been arrested.

“We expect basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be met, in accordance with international norms,” Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, told the BBC. “Our thoughts are with Ms Cheng and her family during this difficult period.”

Cheng disappeared from the channel in August. China eventually announced she was being held on national security grounds under “residential surveillance” in an unknown location.

Her family said they had no idea why she had been detained but that she had been interrogated on several occasions.

Australia said its representatives had been able to visit her once a month – in line with the bilateral consular agreement with China.

Shortly after Cheng’s arrest last year, the last two Australian media correspondents in China fled the country following consular advice, the BBC reported.

Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

    Do you want an experienced opinion on a job issue?
    Moonshot Manager is here to answer!

      Moonshot community sharing thoughts and ideas, in a anonymous, safe environment.