missing for the last two weeks following a trip to the mainland has indeed been placed under administrative detention for breaking China’s public security law.hina has confirmed that an employee of the United Kingdom’s consulate in Hong Kong who has been
“The employee is a resident of Hong Kong SAR, but not a UK citizen. Therefore, this is totally an internal affair,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference on Wednesday without providing any further details.
28-year-old Simon Cheng, a trade and investment officer at the consulate, was last heard from on August 8 when he went to Shenzhen on business. Before crossing the border back into his hometown, he messaged his girlfriend, asking her to pray for him.
Under administrative detention, Cheng can be held without charge for 15 days, a deadline which is about to expire.
It’s assumed that his detention has something to do with the pro-democracy, anti-extradition protests that have rocked Hong Kong for the past 11 weeks. Cheng’s girlfriend says that he never participated in the protests.
His detention has become a pivotal movement in the demonstrations, which started, after all, as a response to a controversial bill which would have allowed suspects in Hong Kong to be taken to the mainland for trial. Cheng’s friends and supporters have called on the international community, and the UK in particular, to exert pressure on China and secure his release.
Several dozens petitioners have gathered outside the British consulate in Admiralty to draw attention to #China ‘s detention of consulate worker #SimonCheng. They stuck missing person posters on the walls, and urged the British government to intervene. #HongKongProtests #UK pic.twitter.com/eWzXmvElf3
— Frances Sit (@frances_sit) August 21, 2019
While the British Foreign Office has expressed its concern and asked for explanations from Chinese authorities regarding the situation, it’s unclear what the consulate in Hong Kong was doing in the more than 10 days between Cheng being detained and his girlfriend going to the media.