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International News

Jan 24, 2019
3:16PM

Australia demands China treat detained national fairly

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Australia today demanded China handle the case of detained author Yang Hengjun transparently and fairly amid a growing row about the fate of the Chinese-Australian. Yang, a novelist, democracy advocate and former Chinese diplomat, was detained shortly after he made a return to China from the United States last week.

 Friend and colleague Chongyi Feng told a news agency that he believes Yang is being charged with "espionage" although Chinese authorities have not publicly said why he was detained.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement that their embassy in Beijing would meet Chinese authorities to seek further clarification of the nature of this detention.

Once described as China's "most influential political blogger", Yang became an Australian citizen in 2000 but is currently based at New York's Columbia University. His criticism of the Chinese government and support for democracy has in the past made him a target of Beijing's state security apparatus.

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