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China to Start Australian TV Anchor’s Spying Trial Next Week

  • Chinese-born Cheng Lei has been detained for over a year
  • Case came amid souring tensions between Beijing, Canberra
Cheng Lei in Portugal in 2019. 
Cheng Lei in Portugal in 2019. Photographer: Vaughn Ridley/Sportsfile/Getty Images
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China will put an Australian television anchor on trial over state secret charges that carry a maximum sentence of life in jail, escalating a case that has contributed to tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

Australia’s foreign ministry said it has been notified by Chinese authorities that Cheng Lei will face trial on March 31, according to a statement on Saturday.