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Concerns for Australian arrested in China on suspicions of espionage

There are grave concerns for an Australian writer after Chinese authorities formally arrested him for spying.

Yang Hengjun has been charged on suspicion of espionage, after being detained for more than seven months in Beijing.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne says China has not explained the reasons for Dr Yang’s detention or allowed him access to his lawyers during that time.

Peter Dutton tells Ben Fordham the government is “extremely concerned”.

“We’ll work with the Chinese authorities to make sure that whatever conditions this individual is being held in are appropriate.

“If he’s being held for political beliefs he should be released.”

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Centre for Independent Studies’ Anatasia Lin tells Ben the government needs to push for his release.

“We really need to speak up for this Australian citizen because China has been known to do this kind of thing to foreign citizens.

“If the Australian government speaks up then it will send Australian-Chinese a message that… they have the protection of their own government to exercise the freedom of speech in Australian land.”

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