Australian journalist Cheng Lei released from China detention in sign of warming ties

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Australian journalist Cheng Lei has flown back to Melbourne after being released from detention in China, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Wednesday.

Albanese said he had met with the former detainee in Melbourne, and that she had been reunited with her two children.

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“Her return brings an end to a very difficult few years for Cheng and her family”, Albanese said at a press conference.

The release is a major sign of diplomatic warming between Australia and China. Cheng was detained in China in 2020 on espionage charges, and Canberra has repeatedly called for her release.

In Beijing, China’s state security ministry said on Wednesday that it deported Australian journalist Cheng Lei on October 11 after serving a full sentence.

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