An award-winning reporter from the South China Morning Post has gone missing following a work trip to China at the end of October, the Japanese news outlet Kyodo News reported on Thursday, citing unidentified people close to the issue.
Minnie Chan, who covers defense and diplomacy in China, has become unreachable after traveling to Beijing to report on the Xiangshan Forum. The three-day international security forum concluded on October 31.
Chan’s last story, about China’s response to the Israel-Hamas war, was published on November 1.
The South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s largest English-language newspaper, did not immediately reply to VOA’s email requesting comment.
Chan’s friends told Kyodo News that they were concerned the journalist might be under investigation by Chinese authorities.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington told VOA it had “no information on this specific case.”
A reporter at the South China Morning Post for nearly two decades, Chan previously reported for Hong Kong’s now-shuttered Apple Daily newspaper, according to Chan’s LinkedIn page. Authorities shut down the pro-democracy newspaper in 2021 and jailed the founder, Jimmy Lai, on charges that are widely viewed as retaliatory.
Beijing has a history of targeting journalists who are critical of the Chinese government.
China ranks among the world’s worst jailers of journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least 43 journalists were imprisoned in China at the end of 2022, the last time the press freedom group reported the figures.