Statement on Ms Cheng Lei

  • Statement
08 February 2021

The Australian Government has been advised that Australian citizen Ms Cheng Lei was formally arrested in China on 5 February, after 6 months of detention.

Chinese authorities have advised that Ms Cheng was arrested on suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas.

Ms Cheng has been detained since 13 August 2020.

The Australian Government has raised its serious concerns about Ms Cheng's detention regularly at senior levels, including about her welfare and conditions of detention.

Australian Embassy officials have visited Ms Cheng six times since her detention, most recently on 27 January 2021, in accordance with our bilateral consular agreement with China.

We expect basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be met, in accordance with international norms.

Our thoughts are with Ms Cheng and her family during this difficult period.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555