China arrests Aus journo over alleged spying

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The Chinese-born Australian journalist had been a TV presenter for Chinese state media outlet CGTN before she was taken into custody….reports Asian Lite News

Chinese officials have formally charged Australian journalist Cheng Lei of supplying state secrets overseas, after months of detention.

The Chinese-born Australian journalist had been a TV presenter for Chinese state media outlet CGTN before she was taken into custody.

Chinese authorities confirmed her arrest on Monday, adding that her legal rights would be guaranteed, the BBC reported.

Ms Cheng was detained in August and charged last Friday, Australian officials had earlier said.

At a press briefing on Monday, Chinese ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said he hoped Australia would “not interfere with China’s handling of this case”, BBC quoted news agency Reuters.

Canberra has repeatedly raised concerns with Beijing over Ms Cheng’s detention.

“We expect basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be met, in accordance with international norms,” said Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne.

“Our thoughts are with Ms Cheng and her family during this difficult period.”

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