CCTV host accused of spying returns to television screens
A star television presenter at the centre of espionage rumours has returned to mainland screens after more than three months' absence.
Fang Jing, 38, hosted World Weekly on the CCTV News channel on Sunday evening and, in a personal message on her weblog, thanked the public for their support. Fifteen minutes into the show, Peking University associate professor Zhou Yijun, a part-time television host whose blog entry fuelled the rumours, wrote a new entry claiming Fang had won.
'Fang Jing has won, good luck and best wishes,' he wrote.
The scandal surfaced when a newspaper in Nanjing , citing Professor Zhou's blog, reported last Thursday that Fang was arrested for spying on May 12. It was claimed that Fang, who also hosted the military affairs programme Defence Watch, was passing military secrets to a Taiwanese boyfriend eight years her junior. Fang has denied the allegations.
Professor Zhou apologised on Saturday on his blog for 'harm caused' by his entry. He denied saying Fang was spying for Taiwan, only that she was 'leaking secrets'. But he refused to say where he had obtained information about her.
Major state media outlets - usually wary of such sensitive topics - at first followed the story but were then forced to remove reports from their websites. China Daily quoted Zhang Zhaozhong , a military expert at the National Defence University, as saying Fang was under investigation for spying.
But on Sunday Mr Zhang distanced himself from the story, telling Phoenix TV that he had not been interviewed by anyone from the newspaper.