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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ World https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ China has stated that it has detained an employee of the British Consulate

China has stated that it has detained an employee of the British Consulate



Simon Cheng, 28, who works as a Commerce and Investment Officer at the British Consulate General in Hong Kong, has been placed under administrative arrest for 15 days, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Gen Shuang said on Wednesday. [19659002] "The person is not a British citizen. He is a Hong Kong citizen, so he is a Chinese citizen and this is a purely Chinese domestic affair," Gen said.

Cheng was detained for violating the Security Administration Penalty Act in China, which covers a number of crimes that are considered too minor to be crimes. The law is often used as a pre-emptive measure that allows police to investigate a suspect before deciding whether to prosecute.
According to Chen's girlfriend Annie Li Chen, travels from Hong Kong to the border city of Shenzhen on the morning of August 8th in the capacity of a sales clerk. Cheng is employed by the Scottish Development International investment agency at the consulate, which promotes trade and commerce between Scotland and other countries and is often required to go to China for work.

Cheng sent a message to Lee on the night of August 8, shortly before he crossed the border into Hong Kong, Lee told CNN.

"Simon has signed a contract with the British government," she told CNN. "If he had not been given this assignment, he would not have needed to go to Shenzhen. The UK must take responsibility for saving Simon."

The British Consulate General in Hong Kong on Tuesday addressed local media with details of Cheng's disappearance. "We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained who is returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen," an email spokesman said.

"We are supporting his family and seeking additional information from the authorities in Guangdong province and Hong Kong," the spokesman added.

The British Embassy in Beijing made an identical statement. to say he was on the high-speed train. Later, he messaged to say that he was about to cross the border, according to screenshots seen by CNN. If Cheng was on the high-speed train between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, the only the immigration point is at West Kowloon Station, in some parts of the station but Chinese law applies, even though she is in Hong Kong, operating under a separate continental legal system.

Li stated that Cheng is a permanent resident of Hong Kong traveling with her continental travel permit. he also holds a passport of the British National Overseas Countries (BNO), a special document for the people of Hong Kong, a former British colony entitling them to consular assistance from the UK, but not equivalent to UK citizenship.

China does not recognize dual citizenship for any Chinese national, which means that it does not recognize BNO passports.

Cheng's disappearance comes as Hong Kong approaches its 12th weekend of massive pro-democracy protests. Travelers told CNN that security at the Hong Kong-China border has increased since the start of mass protests in June.

A Hong Kong man, who recently arrived in a city in China, told CNN that border police appear to be picking people up at random to get additional searches. The man who asked not to be baptized said police scrolled through photos on his phone.

In a statement posted online on Wednesday morning, Cheng's family reiterated that Cheng was in Shenzhen on a "business trip." [19659016] On August 9, the family contacted the Hong Kong police and immigration department and were told that they could travel to mainland China on their own to report the case to the authorities there, the statement said. On August 10, the Immigration Ministry said the Cheng family was "administratively detained" but had no information as to why, where and for how long he would be detained.

The family stated that they had not received any notice of administrative detention expected to be sent within 24 hours of the person's detention. "We just never received documentation confirming that Simon was formally detained by the authorities," the statement said.

"We feel very helpless and worried about Simon," the family says. "We hope that Simon can return to Hong Kong as soon as possible."

In a statement, the family said a lawyer representing them went to three detention centers in Shenzhen but failed to find Cheng . The Shenzhen and Guangzhou Police Offices, as well as the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau, also do not have information about his whereabouts.

Authorities in both Hong Kong and mainland China – which operates under a separate legal system from Hong Kong – have published little details on the case. On Tuesday, a senior police chief in Hong Kong, Wing-cheung, confirmed that they had received a missing-person alert on 9 August. The Hong Kong Immigration Department also confirmed that it had received a request for assistance from the Cheng family and provided them with advice and assistance.

CNN contacted the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Bureau and Shenzhen City Public Security Bureau.

CNN's Matt Rivers and James Griffiths contributed to this report.


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