China Detains Bloomberg Staffer on Suspicion of Jeopardizing ‘National Security’

The Chinese national flag in Beijing, China, April 29, 2020 (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Chinese authorities have detained a staffer for Bloomberg on suspicion of endangering national security, the outlet reported on Friday.

Haze Fan, a Chinese citizen employed at Bloomberg‘s Beijing news bureau, was last seen on Monday being escorted from her apartment by plainclothes police officers. Chinese authorities confirmed on Thursday that Fan had been detained, although her family was notified in the day following her arrest.

Fan has previously worked for Thomson Reuters, CBS News, CNBC, and Al Jazeera.

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

Chinese officials said that 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 case is currently under investigation. Ms. Fan’s legitimate rights have been fully ensured.”

Fan’s detention comes after a year in which China stepped up restrictions on foreign journalists reporting from the country. In a diplomatic standoff in September, two Australian journalists fled to their nation’s embassy in Beijing after they were questioned by Chinese intelligence authorities. The two waited for five days while Australia negotiated their exit from China.

Those journalists were questioned as part of an investigation into another Australian, Cheng Lei, who was a business reporter for China’s state channel CGTN. Cheng was detained in August on “national security grounds,” according to China foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.