Concern Over British Consulate Official Detained At Chinese Border
20 August 2019, 11:35
The UK Foreign Office has said it's "extremely concerned" by reports that a Hong Kong consulate employee has been missing for 12 days since being "detained" at the Chinese border.
Reports say Simon Cheng, who is thought to be from Hong Kong, is believed to have gone missing on 8 August while on a business trip to Shenzhen.
The trade and investment officer at the Hong Kong consulate’s Scottish Development International section was due to return the same day.
His girlfriend is said to have told news site HK01 that he was on his way back on a high-speed train when he called her, told her he was approaching the border said "Pray for me" before losing contact.
Shenzhen, in south-east China, links Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland.
A FCO spokesperson said: “We are extremely 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.”
Recent travellers have reported that everyone passing through the border from Hong Kong into mainland China were subject to police checks on the mainland side, with officers taking people's phones and scrutinising their photos and videos.
The incident comes as a wave of mass protests are taking place in Hong Kong, that have often ended in violent clashes between police and protesters.
Escalating protests led the to all flights being cancelled for a day at Hong Kong airport last week.