Australia chides China over journalist’s yearlong detention

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government says it remains seriously concerned about the welfare of a Chinese-born Australian journalist a year after she was first detained in China. Foreign Minister Marise Payne used the first anniversary of Cheng Lei’s detention on Aug. 13 to tell China that Australia expects “basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be met.” In February, China formally arrested the journalist for CGTN, the English-language channel of China Central Television, on suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas. Worsening bilateral relations since Australia called for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic are suspected by many to be the cause of Cheng’s arrest.

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