Hong Kong, Aug 23 (IANS) The Canadian consulate in Hong Kong has suspended all work travel to mainland China for its staff, days after British consulate employee was detained at the border while returning from neighbouring Shenzhen on a business trip.
“The consulate general of Canada in Hong Kong employs Canadian diplomats posted to Hong Kong as well as locally engaged staff. At present, locally engaged staff will not undertake official business travel outside of Hong Kong,” a spokesperson from the consulate told the South China Morning Post on Friday.
Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong national who works as a trade and investment officer for the British consulate, was last heard from by his girlfriend on August 8 while going through border control at the West Kowloon high-speed railway terminus in Hong Kong.
His family filed a missing-person report with Hong Kong police the next day.
It was not until Wednesday, 12 days after that report, that China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Cheng had been placed under administration detention for 15 days in Shenzhen.
China’s state-run Global Times newspaper reported on Thursday that Cheng had been detained for soliciting prostitutes, which is illegal on the mainland.
The British Foreign Office said after the Global Times report that it “urgently” sought information on Cheng.