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United Kingdom expresses concern about the possible detention in China of an employee of the consulate in Hong Kong

August 20, 2019

BEIJING / HONG KONG, Aug. 20 (Reuters / EP) –

The United Kingdom has claimed to be “extremely concerned” about the information that a consulate worker in Hong Kong was arrested during a recent trip to China, something that threatens to increase tensions between Beijing and London.

“We are extremely concerned about reports that a member of our team has been arrested returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen,” said a representative from the UK Foreign Office in a statement issued by the British Embassy in Beijing.

“We are providing support to his family and seeking more information from the authorities in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong,” he said.

Simon Cheng, 28, did not return to work on August 9 after visiting the city of Shenzhen the previous day, according to the Hong Kong news website HK01, citing an interview with his girlfriend and his family.

Hong Kong has been affected by anti-government protests in recent weeks, and Beijing accused the United Kingdom and other Western countries of meddling in their affairs.

The United Kingdom, the United States and other countries have urged China to respect the formula of “one country, two systems” according to which Hong Kong became part of China again in 1997.