Defence Minister Christopher Pyne today flies into Beijing and into a new diplomatic crisis with confirmation China has detained an Australian citizen.
Prominent Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun has been held since he flew into China from the US on Saturday.
Australian government says China’s authorities have detained a Chinese-Australian writer who has become a vocal critic of the Communist Party in China.
Australian officials say Yang Hengjun is in detention. He is a former diplomat for China who took Australian nationality after retiring.
Yang’s acquaintances have lost contact with him since he arrived in Guangzhou on Saturday from New York.
Australia’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Department says that on Wednesday, the Chinese authorities informed the Australian Embassy in Beijing of the detention.
The department is asking China to disclose the reason for the detention and allow officials to meet him.
Feng Chongyi, associate professor at University of Technology Sydney, is an acquaintance of Yang. Feng told NHK that Yang was likely taken away by Chinese officials who were waiting for his arrival at the airport, and sent to Beijing on the same day.
Yang wrote on his blog on December 30th that Western nations’ legal, economic, and social systems have many loopholes, and most of those who exploit them for profit are Chinese.
In another post on December 18th, he wrote that the spirit of China’s reform and opening-up policy centers on the liberation of thought, and that repressing freedom of speech only reverses history.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a news conference on Wednesday that the ministry has no information on the matter.