The United Kingdom said Tuesday it was “extremely concerned” by reports that an employee at its Hong Kong consulate was detained by China.
Local media reported that Chinese national Simon Cheng, who was a staff member at Britain’s consulate, did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting Shenzhen in mainland China, according to Reuters.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang confirmed Wednesday that Cheng had been detained for 15 days for allegedly violating public security management regulations.
While he gave no details for the arrest, he did respond to the U.K.’s concern.
“He is not a British citizen. He is a Chinese person, so this is entirely a matter of China’s internal affairs,” Geng said.
“As for Britain’s comments, we’ve made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they’ve made on Hong Kong,” he said.
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