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China confirms detention of employee of British consulate in Hong Kong

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on August 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:12s

China confirms detention of employee of British consulate in Hong Kong

A Chinese national working at Britain's Hong Kong consulate has been detained in China's border city of Shenzhen for violating the law, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday, likely worsening already strained ties between Beijing and London.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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China confirms detention of employee of British consulate in Hong Kong

When Simon Cheng didn't return from work after a business trip to the Chinese city of Shenzhen on August 9, the British consulate worker's family knew that something wasn't right.

Cheng's family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday (August 20) night, and on Wednesday (August 21) the Chinese foreign ministry acknowledged he'd been detained.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, GENG SHUANG, SAYING: "The person you speak of (Simon Cheng) was detained by Shenzhen police for 15 days for violating the Public Security Administration Punishment Law of the People's Republic of China." The ministry gave no more details but warned the United Kingdom to ''stop meddling in Hong Kong's affairs and stop interfering in China's internal affairs'' given that Cheng is a Chinese national.

Max Chung, a friend of Cheng's, organized a small protest against his detention outside the consulate in Hong Kong.

He said Cheng had not been involved in any of the anti-government demonstrations that have gripped the territory in recent weeks.

Britain has said it is "extremely concerned" by the reports, in a period of increasingly strained ties between London and Beijing.

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