Sky News understands an Australian journalist detained in China while working for an English language news channel in Beijing, had become increasingly vocal about the country’s border closures as she struggled to get her children into the country.
Cheng Lei was an anchor at Chinese state-owned broadcast channel CGTN where she worked for eight years.
In a statement, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the Australian Government was “informed that an Australian citizen, Ms Cheng Lei, has been detained in China”.
“Formal notification was received on 14 August 2020 from Chinese authorities of her detention”.
China’s government allows individuals to be detained by authorities for up to six months without legal aid, even before a formal charge is laid under “residential surveillance at a designated location” powers.
Australian officials made contact with Ms Cheng via a video link on August 27.