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China will put an Australian television anchor on trial over state secret charges that carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, escalating a case that has contributed to tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

Cheng Lei, a Chinese-born Australian who most recently worked for state broadcaster CGTN, will appear at the Beijing No. 2 People’s Intermediate Court at 9 a.m. on Thursday after 19 months of detention, Australia’s ABC news reported Friday.

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