Great Britain

Britain ‘extremely concerned’ as Hong Kong consulate official goes missing in China after telling girlfriend ‘pray for me’


BRITAIN'S Foreign Office officials say they are "extremely concerned" as a Hong Kong consulate official went missing in China after telling his girlfriend to "pray for me".

Simon Cheng Man-kit has not been seen for 10 days after he failed to return to work after a trip to mainland China on August 8.

Cheng, a trade and investment officer in the Scottish Development International department, had been attending a business event in Shenzhen via a joint checkpoint.

On the day of his departure he told his girlfriend he was on a high-speed rail train, “ready to pass through the boarder [sic],” HK01 reports.

“Pray for me,” Cheng told her in a message.

She told the site he'd planned to arrive back on the same day on the Express Rail Link, but never reappeared.

The police told HK01 that there'd been no arrests, but he'd been listed as a “missing person”.

A spokesperson for the UK’s FCO: “We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen.

"We are providing support to his family and seeking further information from authorities in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong."

The UK consulate in Hong Kong did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It comes amid chaos in the region, as 1.7million umbrella-carrying demonstrators hit the streets on Sunday.

Protests have gripped Hong Kong since June 2019, sparked by highly controversial legislation.

If passed, the bill would give local authorities the right to detain and extradite people who are wanted in countries or territories Hong Kong does not have agreements with - which includes mainland China and Taiwan.

The former British colony in south eastern China, has long enjoyed a special status under the principal "one country, two systems".

The Basic Law dictates it will retain its common law and capitalist system for 50 years after the handover in 1997 - but increasing control from Hong Kong is feared to threaten that deal.

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