“The Australian people very much wanted to see Cheng Lei reunited with her young kids,” Albanese said, adding that the reporter was “delighted” to be back home.
She was charged with “supplying state secrets overseas” but no further details were given.
“I miss the sun,” read the message, described as a “love letter” to Australia.
“In my cell, the sunlight shines through the window but I can stand in it for only 10 hours a year.”
Albanese said she had been released after the “completion of legal processes in China”.
“[The] government has been seeking this for a long period of time and her return will be warmly welcomed not just by her family and friends but by all Australians,” he said. “Her return brings an end to a very difficult few years for Cheng and her family.”
Cheng’s case had been a serious point of friction between Canberra and Beijing.
Albanese said that Cheng’s release would facilitate his visit to China at some point this year.