British Hong Kong consulate employee solicited a prostitute, Chinese media claims
The British Consulate employee detained in China for 15 days after leaving Hong Kong on a business trip violated public law by soliciting a prostitute, state-backed media reported Thursday.
Law enforcement in Shenzhen told the Global Times that Simon Cheng Man-Kit, 28, was taken into custody and placed on administrative detention after he allegedly violated a law on public order regarding “solicitation of prostituion.”
‘MISSING BRITISH HONG KONG CONSULATE EMPLOYEE DETAINED IN CHINA FOR VIOLATING ‘PUBLIC ORDER’: OFFICIALS
Chinese officials have not publicly confirmed this, but on Wednesday Foreign Ministry spokesman Gen Shuang did say that Cheng was placed on a 15-day detention for violating regulations on “Punishments on Public Order and Security Administration.”
He said that Cheng’s arrest was “not a diplomatic issue” despite denying any knowledge of the incident a day earlier after British and Hong Kong media reported on it.
Cheng, who worked as a trade and investment officer with the Scottish Development International section of the consulate, was last seen on August 8 at a business event in the Chinese city that borders his resident Hong Kong.
British officials released a statement Tuesday confirming Cheng’s disappearance and stated that officials were “extremely concerned” that he had been detained in China.
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Tensions have been rising between the British and Chinese governments in light of Cheng’s arrest. On Wednesday, Shuang issued a warning to British officials: "stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs."
He continued: “Regarding the series of words and deeds by the British side recently on Hong Kong-related issues, we have repeatedly lodged solemn complaints with the U.K.”
A top Chinese official doubled down on that sentiment, warning British Members of Parliament to stop spreading “false statements “ that have fueled “protests and riots in Hong Kong.”
In a letter obtained by the Daily Mail, former head of the Hong Kong government Leung Chun-ying said: “The immediate cessation of the liberal agenda would be optimal to ensure future successful relationship with China.”
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He continued: “Should you seek to agitate matters further, the Chinese government will elaborate further with regards to future consequences.”
Weeks of heated protests between mainland China and Hong Kong over a bitter dispute involving political reform and police brutality were escalated after reports of Cheng’s arrest surfaced.