Cheng Lei, Chinese Journalist detained by Chinese Government.

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Cheng Lei, a high-profile television anchor for the Chinese Government’s English news channel, CGTN, has been detained in Beijing.

Cheng Lei, as well as being Chinese born,  and therefore a Chinese citizen, and employed by the Chinese Government’s CGTN, is also an Australian citizen.

China Global Television Network (CGTN) is owned and operated by China Central Television, a state-controlled media organization in China.


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Cheng, having worked for CGTN for the past eight years, had become trusted to present coverage of some of the China’s most politically sensitive events, including China’s annual political congress.

Cheng Lei was detained on 14 August 2020 by the Chinese authorities, and Australian officials had their first consular visit with Ms Cheng at a detention facility via video link on 27 August.

China’s Foreign Ministry has not commented publicly on Ms Cheng’s situation.


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Australian media is now reporting that this might become a highly sensitive case posing a fresh challenge to Australia-China relations.

It raises the question…

Should China have the right to enforce Chinese laws on Chinese citizens working for the Chinese government?

Is Cheng Lei a Chinese/Australian, dual citizen?

Chinese Nationality Law

Article 3: The People’s Republic of China does not recognize dual nationality for any Chinese national.

Article 4: Any person born in China whose parents are both Chinese nationals or one of whose parents is a Chinese national shall have Chinese nationality.

Chinese-born Australian CGTN journalist Cheng Lei detained in Beijing

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