Date
17 December 2017
Rui Chenggang once boasted that he is a friend of many foreign leaders including Bill Clinton. Photo: Weibo
Rui Chenggang once boasted that he is a friend of many foreign leaders including Bill Clinton. Photo: Weibo

CCTV news anchor held for spying

A news anchor in Chinese state broadcaster CCTV could face the death sentence for alleged spying, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday, citing a source in the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences (BASS).

Rui Chenggang was arrested in July and is being held on suspicion he worked as a spy for foreign agencies, the report said.

The arrest followed that of his boss, Guo Zhenxi, for suspected bribery and corruption.

No details about Rui’s arrest had been released until now.

Wang Guoxiang, a deputy researcher in foreign affairs at BASS, said Rui did not leak sensitive intelligence to a foreign party but worked as a spy.

He said the case is serious and would make a mockery of Chinese laws if Rui was not sentenced to death.

Rui, 37, who joined CCTV in 2003, once described the opening of a Starbucks outlet in the Forbidden City in Beijing as an “erosion of Chinese culture”.

He also boasted that he is a friend of many foreign politicians including former United States president Bill Clinton and former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd.

In August, news website Boxun.com reported that Rui was suspected of leaking information about the family wealth of President Xi Jinping and former premier Wen Jiabao to foreign media including Bloomberg and the New York Times.

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