Australian writer and former Chinese diplomat Yang Hengjun, detained in China since January, has been formally arrested on charges of spying.
The Chinese-born Australian writer was arrested on suspicion of espionage amid growing tension between Canberra and China. Explain that he was in custody since January. Yang Hengjun, a Chinese diplomat turned online journalist and blogger, was arrested in the southern city of Guangzhou.
Who are yang
Yang is a former Chinese diplomat and writer. Yang has been out of his country for more than a decade. But he has been writing a popular blog about current affairs and international relations in China. He was also active on Chinese social media and Twitter where he has more than 130,000 followers. In January, he was detained at the airport in Guangzhou while traveling from New York to China with his wife and child.
According to news from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Yang, 54, was being investigated for threatening China’s national security and was arrested on August 23 on suspicion of espionage. Australian Foreign Minister Marisey Penn said, “Australian citizen Yang Hengjun has been formally arrested on charges of espionage in China and will be held in criminal custody. Yang has been detained in Beijing for more than seven months without charge. “He further said,” China did not disclose the reasons for Dr. Yang’s detention nor did his family or lawyer visit him Is allowed. The punishment for espionage in China is death. “He said,” Our condolences are with Dr. Yang and his family in this difficult time. “
The news comes at a time when Beijing is going through a struggle of anti-government protests in Hong Kong. There is no news about this from the Foreign Ministry of China. A ban has been imposed on Yang’s wife leaving China who is a permanent resident of Australia. In China, there is a provision of three years of imprisonment for the death penalty if found guilty under espionage law. Yang lived in New York with his family. In January this year, he went to Guangzhou, China with his wife and children.
However, since January, Australian Embassy officials have met Yang seven times. Yang’s Australian lawyer Robert Stary said Yang had a case of espionage that he denied and the basis for the charge is unknown.