Via The Australian:
China has told Australia to “stop hyping up” the case of arrested Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun as concern grows in Australia over his detention and treatment in Beijing.
“We urge the Australian side to respect China’s judicial sovereignty, stop hyping up the issue and pressuring China and stop interfering in any way in China’s handling of the case,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said last night.
Mr Geng hit out at recent criticisms in Australia over the case calling them “baseless and irresponsible.”
The CPC is a charming beast. Greg Sheridan is onto it:
Yang, though only just formally arrested and indeed not yet formally charged, has been in a harsh form of detention for six months. His real crime is to be modestly in favour of democracy. Payne reminded Beijing of its human rights obligations, including not to engage in torture.
…Beijing here is completely unreasonable. An Australian citizen is detained in inhumane conditions for six months, then formally arrested for espionage, and our Foreign Minister makes clear there is no espionage and asks Beijing to live up to its international obligations. I can’t wait for the wilder reaches of the China lobby to now tell us how ill-advised Payne has been and how we must respect differences in political culture and all the usual cliches.
…We can never know all of Beijing’s motivations. However, Beijing has a history of “hostage diplomacy”, arresting citizens of nations it is having arguments with. This is obviously the case with two Canadians in custody in China, one of them a former diplomat and respected semi-official interlocutor with Beijing officials. Very often, these cases involve foreign citizens of Chinese ethnicity, such as Yang. Beijing believes it has authority over all ethnic Chinese in the world.
No one has made more foolish or dismaying comments in this whole area this week than Michael Spence, the vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney. While acknowledging there is a legitimate debate about Australia’s national interest in relation to China, he argued that some of the debate was taking on the tones of the White Australia policy. This is untrue, and grievously irresponsible, rhetoric. Spence claims he is worried some ethnic Chinese students feel the debate is waged against them. I think that can be a real problem. It would be good therefore to call the Chinese government by its correct name, the People’s Republic of China, so the word Chinese is not used both for a nation-state and an ethnicity.
Damn right. Time to flush the unis of CPC influence.