Cheng Lei Wiki – Cheng Lei Bio
Cheng Lei provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was detained in China in August. Credit … Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, via Agence France-Presse
Journalist Cheng Lei worked as a presenter on a business program for China Global Television News or CGTN when he was detained in August. The Chinese Foreign Ministry later announced that Ms. Cheng was charged with a national security crime, but did not provide any further details.
Cheng Lei Children
Ms. Cheng’s 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son are being cared for by her mother in Melbourne, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Monday.
Cheng Lei Background
Ms. Cheng, 45, was born in Hunan Province in southern China and immigrated to Australia with her family as a child. His arrest for this kind of political charge was caught in the middle of a series of disputes that led the two countries to the lowest point in decades.
In recent years, Canberra has tried to dissuade Beijing from creating influence on Australian soil. The Australian government angered China by blocking the potential participation of Chinese tech giant Huawei in building Australia’s 5G network.
Last year, Australia spearheaded calls for an international investigation into the origins and course of the coronavirus pandemic that has infuriated China, which has been sensitive to questions about its origin criminality.
In contrast, China restricted imports of Australian goods, including wine, coal and barley. The Chinese government did not define these actions as political retaliation, but few in Australia were convinced otherwise.
“I feel that the children do not fully understand the situation, so it is probably quite difficult for children, I wonder what happened,” Ms. Cheng’s nephew Louisa Wen told the publisher.
“We don’t understand anything about the case,” Ms. Wen said. “But we know he has been in custody for five and a half months and his conditions are getting worse.”
Cheng Lei Arrested
The Australian foreign minister said Monday that he has officially arrested an Australian journalist working on Chinese state television on suspicion of sharing national secrets. This move is likely to increase tensions between the two countries.
“Chinese officials reported that Cheng was arrested abroad on suspicion of illegally procuring state secrets,” Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said in a brief statement Monday. She did not give any further details.
“We expect fundamental standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be met in accordance with international norms,” Ms. Payne said.
Regarding Ms. Cheng’s arrest, Geoff Raby, the former Australian ambassador to Beijing, who wrote that relations were deteriorating, said, “I don’t think this is about bilateral relations, but that doesn’t help her case.” Stating that China’s definition of state secrets is very wide, “acquittal is rarely seen in such cases.”
China’s penal code says that providing state secrets overseas should entail a sentence of five to 10 years or, in severe cases, longer.
Australia’s ability to secure Ms. Cheng’s release through diplomacy seems dauntingly limited.
Prior to Ms. Cheng’s trial, Yang Hengjun, another Australian with Chinese heritage, faced charges of espionage in China. Mr. Yang, a writer and businessman also known as Yang Jun, has been held in China since the beginning of 2019 and was charged with espionage charges last year.
Two Canadians – Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat and Michael Spavor, a businessman – await trial in China on espionage charges. Supporters said Beijing used them as pawns to force Canada to deny the extradition of a Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, to the United States, where she faced fraud charges.
Ms. Cheng’s case has been linked to the trial of two Australian journalists who abruptly left China in September for fear of detention. Journalists after a diplomatic impasse – Chinese correspondent for The Australian Financial Review Michael Smith; and Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Bill Birtles was interrogated by Chinese government security officials, including Ms. Cheng.
According to Bloomberg, Haze Fan, a Chinese staff member of Bloomberg News in Beijing, was detained in December in the Chinese capital on suspicion of “criminal activities endangering national security”.
Ms. Cheng initially worked in business in Australia and China. As a CGTN journalist, she seemed eager to develop better relations between the two countries and highlighted China’s economic success story.
“Passionate rhetoric of the Chinese story,” she writes in the entry on her Twitter account.
But last year, when the coronavirus pandemic was at its worst in China, Ms. Cheng made critical comments on Chinese government officials on her Facebook page. She mocked a Communist Party cadre who said citizens should be grateful.
“Even in China, where the pool of materials for satire has never diminished, it’s very rich,” she wrote. “In China, the belief that ‘Do what I say, not as I do’ goes deep in public office. It says” Serve the people “slogans. The truth is the opposite.”