DHARAMSALA, 21 Aug: A worker at the UK’s Hong Kong consulate who was reported missing since 8 Aug has been detained by the Chinese authorities.
Simon Cheng, a Hongkonger who works at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate has been detained in China’s border city of Shenzhen for violating the law, the Chinese foreign ministry has confirmed on Wednesday.
Chen was reportedly detained at Shenzhen during a business trip for 15 days for violating “public security management regulations”, the Chinese foreign ministry said without providing further details.
“He is not a British citizen. He is a Chinese person, so this is entirely a matter of China’s internal affairs,” Geng snapped.
Simon Cheng did not return to work on 9 Aug after visiting the neighbouring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, media reports said citing an interview with his girlfriend and family.
His family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday night.
The development came at a time when the ties between Beijing and London have strained.
While Britain said it is “extremely concerned” by the detention of their staff, China has called on Britain to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.
“As for Britain’s comments, we’ve made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they’ve made on Hong Kong,” the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson has said.
“Britain has made a series of wrong statements on Hong Kong. We again urge them to stop gesticulating and to stop fanning the flames,” Geng added.
As Hong Kong has been gripped by mass protests, travellers have reported heightened security measures on the mainland side, with people passing through being subjected to police checks of their mobile phones.
The protests that entered 11th week were sparked by the now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong to send criminal suspects to China for trial. China has accused thatvforeign hands are behind the protest and that they are meddling in China’s internal affairs.