Joint statement:

  • The Hon Peter Dutton, Leader of the Opposition

11 October 2023

The Coalition welcomes the release and safe return back to Australia of Ms Cheng Lei.

Ms Cheng’s release and return home to her children and partner Nick Coyle will be a moment of great relief and joy to them.

We thank all of those who have worked tirelessly over three years to secure this outcome and acknowledge everyone who has advocated for Ms Cheng’s release. Particular acknowledgement is owed to Australia’s Ambassador to China, Graham Fletcher, along with many DFAT officers and consular officials.

We also acknowledge the Government’s efforts to continue the work of former foreign minister Marise Payne to secure Ms Cheng’s release and their provision of regular confidential briefings to the Opposition on the situation.

After three years of uncertainty, secrecy and zero transparency we are thankful this painful episode for Ms Cheng and her family has come to a welcome end.

The Opposition remains deeply concerned for Australian Dr Yang Hengjun who continues to be detained in China and urges the Albanese Government to use all available diplomatic means to equally secure his return and to ensure his wellbeing.

We welcome Ms Cheng Lei home and respect the privacy of her and her family at this time.