The Sidney Morning Herald
Date: April 7, 2019
By: Nick McKenzie
Two Australian writers, including one now detained in China, were the targets of a Chinese government intelligence operation conducted partly on Australian soil.
An investigation by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Four Corners can reveal that the Chinese operation was seeking details about former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s 2016 classified inquiry into Beijing’s campaign to influence Australian politics.
Blogger Yang Hengjun, who is currently detained in China, and Sydney academic-writer, Dr Feng Chongyi, were both targeted by Chinese authorities for information on John Garnaut, the China expert and former journalist who led the classified investigation.
The revelations come as Mr Yang’s wife Xiaoliang Yuan broke her silence from China – risking potential blowback from the Chinese government – to call for Australia to fight harder for her husband’s release from the “residential detention” facility he’s been held in since travelling there in January.
Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has joined Mr Yang’s wife to issue an impassioned plea for Australians to demand his release from Beijing detention.
While some details of Mr Yang’s detention by Chinese intelligence officials in Beijing have filtered to the outside world, his questioning by Chinese agents in Sydney in March last year has never been made public.
Mr Yang was allegedly intercepted and questioned just prior to a meeting with Mr Garnaut. [FULL STORY]