mandag 17. juni 2024

Chinese officials’ attempt to ‘block’ formerly detained journalist mars Australia goodwill tour

Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s four-day visit to Australia this week was set to be focused on repairing long-strained relations between the two countries. But apparent efforts by Chinese officials to stand in front of an Australian reporter during a press briefing have shone a spotlight back on frictions between the countries.

Cheng Lei, a TV anchor who was held in detention in China for more than three years before her release in 2023, told Sky News Australia the officials went to “great lengths” to block her from the cameras during a press event Monday where Li and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed cooperative agreements.

Video footage appears to show two people involved in the incident, with one of them, described by the outlet as a Chinese embassy employee, trying at one point to push closer to a seated Cheng, despite being blocked by another woman, identified by Sky News as an Australian official, who intervenes to give her space.