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Family of detained British consulate staffer refutes Chinese state media’s prostitution claim

Via The Hong King Free Press…

The family of a British consulate staffer has refuted a claim by state media that their relative had been detained in China for visiting a prostitute.

Simon Cheng – a Hongkonger – has been held in mainland China since August 8 for breaking a public security law. Though he is facing 15 days of administrative detention, his whereabouts remain unknown.

Cheng was visiting Shenzhen for a business event, but went missing after boarding a high-speed train back to Hong Kong’s West Kowloon terminal. China’s foreign ministry only confirmed he was detained on Wednesday, a day after news broke.

Hu Xijin, editor of the state-backed tabloid Global Times, tweeted on Thursday that Cheng had been detained in Shenzhen for visiting a prostitute.

“Police didn’t contact his family requested by Cheng. Police are willing to help reduce damage to his reputation, UK diplomats and media ruined him,” he claimed.

A Global Times report said the claim had been made by the Lo Wu police.

Cheng’s family said they would not respond to the report. However, they told HKFP: “Everyone knows it is not the truth. But time will tell.”

Separately, a Facebook page run by Cheng’s family posted the Global Times news piece and said: “We can all take this as a joke.”

Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, has said Cheng was from Hong Kong and therefore the issue was an internal matter.

“Let me clarify, this employee is a Hong Kong citizen, he’s not a UK citizen, which is also to say he’s a Chinese person,” Geng said on Wednesday.

Founded in 1993, the Global Times is a state-run tabloid under the Communist Party’s flagship paper the People’s Daily.

When the Express Rail Link opened, Hong Kong effectively surrendered its jurisdiction across a quarter of the new terminus, where immigration procedures are performed by mainland law enforcement agents. The mechanism was heavily criticised by pro-democracy activists and lawyers, who insist that it violates the Basic Law.

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August 23, 2019

To be perfectly honest I go with prostitutes every time I go to HK – about every six weeks. Sue me.

Correction: every time I go ANYWHERE. I mean, what other reason is there to travel, right?

Jo Blo
Jo Blo
August 23, 2019

As an employee of the British consulate in HK, he would have been identified, tailed and observed after crossing into the mainland. China, having a rather loose rule of law, would have ignored minor improprieties such as a visitor frequenting prostitutes, as long as relations with his employers remained cordial. However, when those relations soured, they have an immediate and provable scapegoat, so as to embarrass his employer, the British HK consulate. It is my theory that this is what happened to the two Canadian Michaels. Kovrig, a diplomat on leave of absence (without his diplomatic passport), was working for… Read more »

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