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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Australian Writer Faces Espionage Charges in China


7Dnews London

Tue, 27 Aug 2019 18:57 GMT

A Chinese-born, Australian national was arrested and detained for months in China on charges of espionage, according to the Australian government, Reuters has reported.

The writer, known as Yang Hengjun, was a former Chinese diplomat who reportedly became an Australian citizen in 2002 but retains a Chinese passport. He has also lived and worked in the US.

Mr. Hengjun wrote three spy novels all of which are set in China. He also writes about the state of law and human rights according to a local Australian newspaper.

"There is no basis for any allegation That Dr Yang was spying for the Australian government," Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said of Yang, who has a doctorate from the University of Technology in Sydney.

Yang was first detained seven months ago in China's southern province of Guangzhou after arriving there from New York en route to Beijing, according to the news agency.