In a first, Mary Lau outlines the talks on her husband's release The wife of Hong Kong journalist Ching Cheong says she is cautiously optimistic he will be released next Saturday, the 100th day since he was detained for allegedly spying. Mary Lau Man-yee outlined for the first time the behind-the-scenes negotiations under way to secure Ching's release since her husband was detained three months ago. She told the Sunday Morning Post she is contacted 'once or twice a week' by officials from the Security Bureau, who pass on news of her husband from the relevant mainland authorities. Lau also said academics, and pro-Beijing politicians, including Tsang Yok-sing and Choy So-yuk from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong had been working on Ching's release through their own contacts in Beijing. Some pro-democracy legislators had been attempting to do the same. 'I saw hope after getting so much help. The Hong Kong government has done a lot of work and many friends are also working on his release,' said Lau. She said the turning point came after Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said he had raised the case with Liao Hui, director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, during his trip to Beijing to be sworn in as the second chief executive on June 24. Mr Tsang told legislators on June 27 that Mr Liao had given a 'positive answer' and pledged to follow up the case with the relevant departments. Ching, 55, a senior China correspondent for Singapore's The Straits Times, was detained on April 22 when he went to Guangzhou to collect a series of secret interviews with the late former Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang . Ching is now under 'house surveillance'. He is accused of espionage, but it has been widely speculated that his detention has to do with his reports on a memoir about Zhao and a border demarcation agreement between China and Russia, which was signed in October last year and claimed to have solved decades of border disputes. There is also speculation his detention is related to his contributions to Taiwanese publications. Lau said she had been told her husband was in a 'physically and emotionally stable state'. He suffers a 'marginal' blood pressure problem and had been treated with Chinese herbal medicine. Lau, a veteran journalist now working on freelance basis, said her husband's detention had put a stop to her work and cast a shadow of uncertainty over her life. 'When this happened I was very worried and my mind was in turmoil. I needed to take four pills every night to get to sleep,' she said. 'I didn't know what to do and had to consider many issues, like 'should I go find a stable job?' or 'do I need to sell or mortgage the house?'' 'The most important thing is get him out, the sooner the better.'