After more than three years of detention in China, the journalist was released Cheng Li, Chinese nationality Australian Who was arrested by security services in Beijing in August 2020. This was followed by a long period of silence from the Chinese judicial system, until Qing Lei, now 45 years old, appeared in court last year on charges of sexual harassment. “Publishing state secrets abroad”. A trial behind closed doors, and the verdict was never announced.
And now it is announced that “the proceedings have ended” and that after “confessing and serving a prison sentence of two years and eleven months” the journalist has been released and expelled. The Ministry of State Security in Beijing added few details to close the case: “By violating the confidentiality clause signed with his employer, Qingli illegally provided state secrets obtained during his work to foreign organizations, using the telephone.”
Ching Lei reappeared in Melbourne today, smiling alongside Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong. He was able to hug his two children again Who are now 11 and 14 years old.
Until 2020, the journalist worked as an anchor for CGTN, the English-language channel of state television in Beijing. Chinese by birth, she followed her family to Melbourne at the age of 10 and became an Australian citizen. After returning to Beijing in 2000, she took full advantage of her knowledge of the English language to become a correspondent for CGTN. He hosted an in-depth financial program and an entertaining cooking program. A star who is also very popular on Chinese social networks. Then he suddenly disappeared in August 2020, and his web accounts were deleted. His arrest coincided with the diplomatic crisis between China and Australia: the government in Canberra prevented the hacking of Huawei’s 5G network, concluded an agreement with the United States and Great Britain to supply submarines capable of confronting the Chinese fleet, and called for an international investigation. Conference on the origins of the epidemic. Beijing responded by imposing trade sanctions. Cheng Lei ended up dead The black hole of political conflict. The circumstances indicate that his arrest was A Retaliation for pressure on the Australian government.
Qing Li, detained in a cell, was only able to communicate with an Australian diplomat last August, describing the cruelty of detention: “I have the right to spend 10 hours a year outside the homefor the rest of the time I don’t see sunlight“I haven’t seen a tree since they arrested me.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has worked hard to resolve the issue. He raised the matter directly with Xi Jinping when he met him last November at the G20 summit in Bali. Analysts point out that relations between Beijing and Canberra have improved.
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