The Australian government received “official notification” of Cheng Lei’s arrest on August 14, according to a statement issued by Maris Payne, Australia’s foreign minister. Consular officers spoke to her via video chat on August 27.
The journalist is a business presenter at CGTN, the international division of Chinese state television, according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In a statement, the family of the detained journalist said that he was in “close consultation” with the Australian government.
“[We are] by doing everything we can, as a family, to support Cheng Lei, “the statement said. In China, the proper process will be followed and we expect a satisfactory and timely conclusion on the issue. “
The CGTN and the Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Last week, Australia effectively blocked the sale of a dairy business to a Chinese company, arguing that the acquisition “would run counter to the national interest”
– Stephen Jiang and Michelle Toe contributed to the reporting.