An HKJA statement speculated that the Chinese allegations probably referred to Xi's news gathering and added, "The authorities alleged at the same time that Xi's behavior was 'unrelated to the normal work of a journalist.
The HKJA is pressing Chinese authorities for an open and fair trial of the pair and to allow the Hong Kong and international media to attend the proceedings.
She disclosed that HKJA sources in China reported that Xi had been followed each time he had gone to the mainland.
While the HKJA seeks to free Xi, a mood of apprehension about 1997 hangs over Hong Kong's journalism establishment.
A 1993 report by the HKJA and London-based Article 19, a free-speech organization named for that article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, warned, "The auguries are not good.
The report points out that final interpretation of the law will be determined by a committee of the National People's Congress, not Hong Kong's judiciary as advocated by the HKJA and Article 19.