Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Chinese television presenter denies spying for Taiwan

AFP , BEIJING

A star presenter with China’s state television network has denied allegations that she spied for Taiwan, amid reports that she could be under investigation, state newspapers said yesterday.

The China Daily, quoting unnamed sources from China Central Television, said Fang Jing (方靜), the 38-year-old face of the network’s prime-time military program Defense Watch, had been “taken away for a possible spy probe.”

It said she also was “rumored” to have been seduced by a man from Taiwan eight years younger than her and to have received money from him.

But Fang denied the allegations and told the Southern Metropolis Daily she might seek legal redress over what she called “rumors.”

“I am not a spy,” she told the paper. “Someone will have to take legal responsibility for these rumors.”

Reporters were not immediately able to reach Fang for comment about the reports.

The China Daily quoted Zhang Zhaozhong (張召忠), a military expert at the National Defense University and a regular guest on her show, as saying she had not been jailed.

Fang quit the program on March 1, Zhang was quoted as saying.

A staff member with Defense Watch, who would not give his name, dismissed the reports as “rumors” when contacted by reporters.

He however confirmed Fang was not presently at the station.

“At the present time, she is not feeling well. I don’t know when she will return,” the man said, giving no other details.

Fang has been featured in some of CCTV’s largest live broadcasts including the network’s three-day coverage of the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the China Daily said.

She started working for CCTV in 1994 after graduating from China’s top broadcast journalism school and spent four months at Harvard University as a visiting scholar, the report said.

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