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Chinese-Australian writer detained in China

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Chinese-Australian writer detained in China

Chinese-Australian writer detained in China

Chinese-Australian writer and former Chinese diplomat Yang Hengjun has been detained in China, as Australia's Defence Minister arrives in Beijing for talks with senior Chinese officials.

Jayson Albano reports.

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Chinese-Australian writer detained in China

A Chinese-Australian writer has been detained in China, and Australia wants answers.

Yang Hengjun, an author and former Chinese diplomat who is now an Australian citizen, was detained shortly after flying to Guangzhou from New York last week.

On Thursday (January 24), the Chinese government said he's being held on suspicion of endangering state security with Yang's lawyer saying his detention may be related to espionage.

It came as Australia's Defence Minister Christopher Pyne visited Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart and other senior officials.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE MINISTER, CHRISTOPHER PYNE SAYING: "The Australian government is obviously concerned with the residential surveillance of Mr. Yang.

He is an Australian citizen and we are seeking to provide consular assistance and support to ensure that he is treated fairly and transparently." The visit was arranged a bid to repair damaged ties between the two countries after Australia accused China of meddling in its domestic affairs in 2017.

Yang's detention also comes amid growing tension between China and parts of the West.

That was set off after Canada detained a senior Huawei executive, accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

China then arrested two Canadians in a move that's widely seen as retaliation.

For their part, Australia voiced their criticism of the arrests in China.

But Australia's Foreign Minister said there was no evidence linking Yang's detention to the arrests.




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