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Chinese authorities detain Bloomberg news assistant

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Chinese authorities detain Bloomberg news assistant 1

A Chinese national working for the Bloomberg News bureau in Beijing has been detained on suspicion of endangering national security, the outlet and China’s Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Haze Fan, a news assistant, was seen being escorted from her apartment building by plainclothes security officials about 11:30 a.m. local time Monday, shortly after she had been in contact with one of her editors, according to Bloomberg.

The news agency said it has sought information on Fan’s whereabouts from Beijing and the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC. Her family was informed within 24 hours, it said.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, received confirmation Thursday that she was being held on suspicion of participating in activities endangering national security.

“We are very concerned for her, and have been actively speaking to Chinese authorities to better understand the situation. We are continuing to do everything we can to support her while we seek more information,” a Bloomberg rep said.

Fan, who joined Bloomberg in 2017, previously worked for CNBC, CBS News, Al Jazeera and Thomson Reuters.

“Chinese citizen Ms. Fan has been detained by the Beijing National Security Bureau according to relevant Chinese law on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities that jeopardize national security,” the Chinese authorities said.

“The case is currently under investigation. Ms. Fan’s legitimate rights have been fully ensured and her family has been notified,” they added.

Chinese citizens can only work as news assistants for foreign news bureaus in China. They are not permitted to do independent reporting.

Foreign media working in China have come under mounting pressure, and more than a dozen foreign journalists at American media outlets have been expelled this year after their press credentials were yanked amid worsening relations between Beijing and Washington, according to Reuters.

In August, Cheng Lei, a China-born Australian citizen working for state-run broadcaster CGTN, was detained in Beijing on suspicion of illegal activities that endangered China’s national security.

In September, Australia helped two correspondents leave China after they were questioned by the country’s state security ministry.

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