Australian government investigates detainment of Chinese-Australian writer in China

Yang Hengjun
Yang Hengjun Photo credit: Reuters

A Chinese-Australian blogger and political commentator who disappeared after arriving in China a week ago has been detained by Chinese officials.

A statement released by Chinese authorities on Wednesday confirmed that Yang Hengjun was detained upon arrival.

Officials from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have not yet been able to contact Mr Yang, reports Reuters.

"The department is seeking to clarify the nature of this detention and to obtain consular access to him... as a matter of priority," the department said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

Mr Yang had travelled from New York to Guangzhou last week, and police grew concerned when his friends reported they had not heard from him in several days.

The former Chinese diplomat is an author, as well as an outspoken political commentator. He is also an Australian citizen.

He has been in the sight of Chinese authorities for criticising Chinese interference in Australia, reports Reuters.

Tensions between China and parts of the Western world have been high, after two Canadians were arrested in China due to suspicion they were endangering state security, reports Reuters.

The slew of arrests has been seen by the West as retaliation for the arrest of Huawei's executive, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada last year.



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