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Anchor denies spy allegations

A VETERAN anchorwoman at China Central Television yesterday fought back against media reports that she was arrested for spying for Taiwan in connection with her work.

The 38-year-old Fang Jing, who hosted a program on defense issues on CCTV, said in an interview with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite Television that she was "shocked and angry" over the espionage suspicions, pointing out she has never been questioned by any government authorities.

Rumors that she was being investigated by security authorities have been swirling across Internet chatrooms on the Chinese mainland since early May.

The news exploded across the Chinese media yesterday after A Yi, a colleague of Fang's CCTV, said in a recent blog that Fang was arrested on May 12.

A Yi, a former CCTV anchor and a journalism professor at Peking University, alleged that Fang had volunteered for the "Defense Watch" program to gain access to confidential intelligence. The blog, on Sina.com, China's largest news portal, did not provide further details.

Fang took over the prime-time military program on CCTV7 in 2006. The show often features specialists from the People's Liberation Army in discussions of military topics.

Other reports in major Chinese media on Thursday also quoted Zhang Zhaozhong, a military expert who appeared frequently on Fang's show, as saying that the anchor is now under investigation.

Fang said yesterday that the allegations about her were untrue. She said she doesn't know A Yi and never talked to him.

"I'll definitely sue him for malicious slander," Fang told Phoenix TV. "I didn't do anything I feel guilty about and am not afraid to face the truth. I'm still an employee of CCTV and will return to the screen soon."

CCTV staff told Phoenix that Fang left for health reason.




 

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