Writer Yang Hengjun 'snatched by secret police' at Chinese airport
25 January, 2019, 21:10
Pyne said he would press for access to Yang at meeting with his counterpart in Beijing, the minister of national defence, General Wei Fenghe, later on Thursday.
Chinese Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Yang was being held in Beijing and was suspected of engaging in criminal activities that endangered China'snational security.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said staff from Australia's embassy met Chinese officials on Thursday and, while details were limited, she said there was no evidence Yang's case was linked to Australia's criticism of the detention of the Canadians. The writer, democracy activist and former Chinese diplomat was taken by security agents soon after arriving in the country on Saturday.
The Australian reports that Chinese officials say they know nothing of the whereabouts of the Chinese-Australian author. "We will continue to make representations to China to make sure this is dealt with transparently and fairly", Ms Payne added. The department said it is "seeking to clarify the nature of this detention and to obtain consular access to him, in accordance with the bilateral consular agreement".
"You can't sugarcoat this".
Feng was detained in China in 2017 near the end of a three-week trip during which he was researching human rights lawyers, and he was questioned by security services for two weeks before he was allowed to return to Australia. The embassy has just been notified. "I didn't think it would be safe for him because of the situation with Huawei but he believed that he would fine as he had been there so many times", Feng said. "But it is very concerning - I can't pretend otherwise", he told the ABC. "This is not the way relations between our two countries should be conducted, at all".
"China has an global legal obligation under [article] 12 of our 1999 treaty for full consular access & to advise what Chinese law he is alleged to have breached". Both issues have figured in speculation about the reasons for Yang's detention.
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