London [UK], Aug 20 (ANI): Britain on Tuesday "expressed concern" over the disappearance of an employee in its consulate in Hong Kong.
Simon Cheng, a 28-year-old trade and investment officer at the consulate, was reportedly detained by the government while he was returning from a trip to mainland China, Washington Post reported.
However, China has denied such reports.
Cheng disappeared on August 8 when he went to attend an event in the border city of Shenzhen. He was supposed to come back on the same day according to his girlfriend.
However, he fell out of contact while attempting to pass through Chinese immigration and since has been detained in mainland China for unknown reasons.
"We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen," a British Foreign Office spokesperson said Tuesday.
"We are providing support to his family and seeking further information from authorities in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong."
Meanwhile, at a regular briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang denied knowledge of the incident.
This incident is likely to escalate the already heightened tensions between China and the west.
Beijing has accused US of inciting violence in Hong Kong which is witnessing protests from last two months. However, Washington has denied such allegations.
Canada has also accused China of detaining two of its citizens including former diplomat.
Hong Kong has been witnessing protests since early June. The demonstrations were triggered by the now-suspended extradition bill which would allow suspects to be extradited to China to face trial.
Even though the bill has been suspended, the protests have continued and taken on a more pro-democracy outlook. Protesters have also demanded an inquiry into police authority and alleged brutality.
Several street clashes have taken place between protesters and the police ever since the beginning of the anti-government protests. At least 748 protesters have been arrested ever since the protests broke out in Hong Kong, police said on Friday.
China has decried the protests, with one Chinese official alleging that the demonstrations have "begun to show signs of terrorism". (ANI)