TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The UK said it was "extremely concerned" by reports that a Hong Kong consulate worker was detained during a recent trip to mainland China, a case that threatens to add to strains between Beijing and London.
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The statement came after news site HK01 reported that the UK consular employee, Simon Cheng, 28, was reported missing after failing to return from an August 8 meeting in the adjacent city of Shenzhen, Bloomberg reported.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was providing the man's family with support and seeking information from authorities in Hong Kong and Guangdong province.
"We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen," the office said.
Cheng is being held on the mainland, the Telegraph newspaper reported, citing the British Embassy in Beijing.
The incident comes at a sensitive time for the UK and China, which blames the British government for meddling in its former colony by defending the rights of demonstrators. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on August 9 to discuss "concerns about the situation in the city and the protests there," the foreign office said in a statement that made no mention of Cheng's case.