A British consulate employee detained in China was arrested for soliciting prostitutes, the country’s state-backed Global Times newspaper has said.

It reported Simon Cheng Man-Kithas had broken a “public security” law, which carries a penalty of detention for 10 to 15 days and a fine of 5,000 yuan (£581).

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Local police referred journalists to the newspaper’s story, which is published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily group.

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Mr Cheng Man-Kit has not been seen for 13 days, after he failed to return to work following a business trip to Shenzhen in China on 8 August.

The 28-year-old is a trade and investment officer in the Scottish Development International section of the UK’s consulate in Hong Kong.

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The Foreign Office has said it is “extremely concerned” by the news of his arrest and is raising the case with China.

Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with China accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs.

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The UK, US and other countries have urged China to respect the “one country, two systems” formula under which Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

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