, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
#Australia Calls on #China to Release Detained Writer - It strongly rebuked Beijing on Friday for detaining one of its citizens, a writer who has called for liberalization in China, expressing concern over his welfare and calling for his release. nytimes.com/2019/07/19/wor…
Australia was “deeply disappointed” to learn that Yang Hengjun, a Chinese-born Australian who has been in custody since January, had been placed in criminal detention, Marise Payne, the country’s foreign minister, said in a statement.
“We have asked for clarification regarding the reasons for Dr. Yang’s detention,” she said. “If he is being detained for his political views, then he should be released.”
The confrontation comes at a time of political tension between the two countries, with Australia taking steps to guard against foreign interference, even as it has leaned on China as a major trading partner.
Officials from the Australian Embassy have visited Mr. Yang six times, most recently on June 27, and the government has appealed to China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, for Mr. Yang to be granted access to his lawyers. “This has not occurred,” the statement said.
His wife, Yuan Xiaoliang, received a notice this week that he had been put under criminal detention on Wednesday & was now held in a state security detention center in Beijing. Previously, he had been held under murkier detention powers that left it unclear where he was held.
For now, Mr. Yang is still being held “on suspicion of endangering state security,” an umbrella accusation that can cover crimes such as espionage or stealing state secrets, Mr. Mo said.
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