Australian Journalist Released From Chinese Prison

    Photo: Web Summit [via Flickr]

    The Facts

    • 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.

    • 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.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    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

    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.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that China will score at least 5.70 on the Human Freedom Index in 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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