Two Australian journalists rushed out of China over safety concerns

Two Australian journalists have arrived back in the country, after they were rushed out of China due to growing concerns for their safety.

They’re understood to be the last two Australian journalists who were stationed there, with many trying to leave following the arrest of Australia’s Cheng Lei.

Ms Lei, a prominent business journalist and presenter on CGTN (China Global Television Network), is still believed to be under ‘residential surveillance’ in an unknown location, after she disappeared from TV screens early last week.


The arrest triggered other Australian media outlets to get their journalists out of the country, for fears they could have been next.

ABC’s Bill Birtles is one of the last two journalists, as well as the Australian Financial Review’s Michael Smith.

The pair touched down in Sydney this morning.

DFAT had advised there could be a risk to the personal safety of Australians, whether they are part of the media or not

It follows a tumultuous trade relationship between China and Australia this year, with disputes over the barley, wine beef and coal.

Related article: Aussie coal exports threatened in escalating trade tensions with China