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Bloomberg journalist detained in Beijing on suspicion of "jeopardising national security"

The Chinese authorities have detained Haze Fan, who works for the Bloomberg News bureau in Beijing, on suspicion of endangering national security.

Haze was last in contact with one of her editors around 11.30 am on Monday. Soon after, she was seen being escorted from her residential building by plain-clothes security officials. “We are very concerned for her, and have been actively speaking to Chinese authorities to better understand the situation. We are continuing to do everything we can to support her while we seek more information,” a Bloomberg spokesperson said.

It is being reported that Haze was being held on suspicion of "participating in activities endangering national security" after Bloomberg sought information about her whereabouts from the Chinese government and Chinese embassy in Washington for four days.

“We have been doing our best to try and find out exactly where she is, what’s happened and to try and get her back,” Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait told the organisation’s television channel.

“Haze is a very talented person, a very respected, integral part of our newsroom, very popular, and we are deeply concerned for her well-being," he added.

<em>South China Morning Post</em> reported that a collection of articles attributed to Haze on the Bloomberg website showed coverage largely related to markets and business news in China. "It was not immediately clear whether her detention was related to her work. Chinese nationals can only work as news assistants for foreign news agencies in China, while the domestic media is largely state-owned and heavily censored. The country consistently ranks as one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists," it said in a report.

Meanwhile, in a statement published by Bloomberg, the Chinese authorities said that Haze has been detained on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities.

“Chinese citizen Ms Fan has been detained by the Beijing National Security Bureau according to relevant Chinese law on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities that jeopardise national security. The case is currently under investigation. Ms Fan’s legitimate rights have been fully ensured and her family has been notified,” the statement said..