Chinese-Australian reporter accused of spreading secrets

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A Chinese-born Australian journalist has been formally arrested in China on suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas. Cheng Lei works for CGTN, the English-language channel of China Central Television. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne says China has advised that Cheng was arrested on Friday, six months after she was detained. The arrest marks the start of an official criminal investigation. Payne says her government has raised its “serious concerns” about Cheng’s detention. Worsening bilateral relations since Australia called for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic are suspected to be the cause of Cheng’s detention.