- Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced Wednesday that journalist Cheng Lei had been reunited with her family in Melbourne, after spending three years in a Chinese jail on espionage charges.1
- Until her arrest on Aug. 13, 2020, the now 48-year-old was working as a business reporter for China's state-owned English-language TV broadcaster CGTN.2
- Earlier, Beijing had stated that the Australian national had been deported after she served a two-year-and-eleven-month sentence for illegally sharing state secrets overseas.3
- In March 2022, Lei was prosecuted in a closed-door trial that Australian diplomats weren't allowed to attend. No evidence against her was ever published.4
- According to Chinese authorities, 'Cheng Lei confessed the crime, pleaded guilty, and accepted the punishment.'4
- Despite Lei's return home, China is yet to release another Australian national — Dr. Yann Hengjun — a pro-democracy activist, who was detained in Guangzhou in 2019 on national security charges.5
- Anti-China narrative, as provided by Daily Mail. The nightmare is finally over for Cheng Lei, who spent over a thousand days imprisoned in one of China's infamous black jails, where she wasn't allowed to receive more than ten hours of sunlight a year or speak with her daughters. Lei's conviction and mistreatment during custody further exemplifies the oppressive tactics routinely employed by the Chinese regime.
- Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. Cheng Lei was deported from China after serving the full length of her sentence. Her conviction by the Chinese judicial system was a strong sign that anyone who violates Chinese laws can't expect to dodge punishment based on their nationality. Lei's detention and release have nothing to do with bilateral relations with Australia.