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Concerns raised over British Consulate worker ‘detained’ in China

The Foreign Office said it is investigating reports that a member of its team had been detained while returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen.

The Foreign Office has expressed concern (Anthony Devlin/PA)
The Foreign Office has expressed concern (Anthony Devlin/PA)

By Joe Gammie, PA

The Foreign Office has said it is concerned over reports that a staff member has been detained in China.

Simon Cheng Man-kit, who works at the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, is missing after crossing the border for a business trip, according to local media.

The Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) said the trade and investment officer at Scottish Development International had attended a business event in Shenzhen, in south-eastern China, on August 8, but failed to return.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We are concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained while returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen.

“We are providing support to their family and seeking further information from authorities in Guangdong province and Hong Kong.”

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Mr Cheng had crossed the border for a business trip in the Chinese mainland (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The Scottish Government said it was concerned for Mr Cheng’s welfare and was liaising with the Foreign Office.

A spokesman added: “We are aware of this incident and we are concerned for Mr Cheng’s welfare.

“We are liaising with the FCO, who are in contact with Mr Cheng’s family, the authorities in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and are seeking further information.”

It is understood that although Mr Cheng works for Scottish Development International he is employed by the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong.

The HKFP said that Mr Cheng’s girlfriend had told news outlet HK01 that he had planned to return to Hong Kong on the same day he left.

Mr Cheng is a Hong Kong permanent resident who had studied in Taiwan and the UK and it is not clear whether he held a diplomatic passport or what documents he used to enter China, the HKFP reported.

PA

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