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China has released detained Australian journalist Cheng Lei, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced.
Ms Cheng, a former TV anchor in China, had been detained in a Beijing jail for three years after allegedly breaking China’s national security laws.
The mother-of-two’s trial has been held behind closed doors and the full details of her alleged offences have been kept opaque.

Mr Albanese said he had spoken to Ms Cheng who is now home in Australia and reunited with her family.

“(It is) an outcome that the Australian government has been seeking for a long period of time and her return will be warmly welcomed not just by her family and friends, but by all Australians,” he said on Wednesday.

“We know that the Australian people very much wanted to see Cheng Lei reunited with her young kids.

“She spent three years in circumstances that were very difficult.

“She’s a very strong and resilient person. And when I spoke with her, she was delighted to be back in Melbourne.”
He’s asked for her privacy to be respected at this stage.

The Prime Minister and various senior ministers had raised the issue of Ms Cheng with their Chinese counterparts during meetings.

The detention of Ms Cheng had been a sticking point for Mr Albanese expected visit to China, after he accepted an open invitation to visit this year.

Mr Albanese said on Wednesday no date had yet been set for the visit, but it would be “this year”.

The Chinese-born Australian, who spent three years detained in China, penned an open letter to mark the anniversary this weekend, writing lovingly of Australia and missing nature and the sunshine.

Meanwile, Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun remains detained in China after being detained in 2019.

The democracy activist was detained in 2019 during a visit to see family in China and charged with espionage. He has denied the accusations.
“We continue to advocate for Dr Yang’s rights and wellbeing with Chinese authorities at all levels, whether that be in Canberra or in Beijing,” Mr Albanese said.

“We’ve done so consistently. Since Dr. Yang was detained in January 2019.”

Read related topics:Anthony AlbaneseChina

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