Australia joins coalition to condemn hostage diplomacy to pressure CCP and other countries over use of foreigners as ‘bargaining chips’

A composite photo of Kylie Moore-Gilbert (left), and TV anchor Cheng Lei.
Australia has grappled with hostage diplomacy, and has freed Kylie Moore-Gilbert (left), however TV anchor Cheng Lei (right) remains under arrest in China.(Supplied)

Australia has joined an international coalition of 57 countries condemning hostage diplomacy, in a move designed to ramp up diplomatic pressure on China and other nations which have arbitrarily detained foreigners.

The declaration has been led by Canada, which has been caught in a protracted diplomatic battle with China over the jailing of two Canadian citizens, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and consultant Michael Spavor.

China has made it clear the move is in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in 2018.

The United States has accused Ms Meng of flouting US sanctions on Iran.

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