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Yang Hengjun and journalist Cheng Lei, detained Australians in China, have their sentences delayed & More Trending News


The destiny of the pair is on the centre of Australia’s diplomatic push to stabilise relations with China. Foreign Minister Penny Wong raised the circumstances along with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing in December, as did Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with President Xi Jinping in Bali in November.

Despite the high-profile lobbying, negotiators have but to strike a take care of their Chinese counterparts. Other disputes over commerce that have dominated three years of acrimony between Beijing and Canberra seem like slowly easing after some Chinese importers got the all-clear to start buying Australian coal once more final week.

Yang, a pro-democracy author who has a PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney, was allowed a consular go to final week for the primary time since Beijing’s final COVID outbreak started in November.

“We met him recently. Family members are not allowed to visit him now because according to Chinese laws, no family visit is allowed before a criminal case is sentenced and takes effect,” Mo mentioned.

Australian author Yang Hengjun, pictured together with his spouse, Yuan Xiaoliang.Credit:

“He was OK. It seems he had COVID for a few days, and suffered a fever and pains. He was quarantined with a couple of other COVID-infected inmates for some time.”

Yang’s pal, Feng Chongyi, mentioned the 57-year-old’s arbitrary detention was a case of “outrageous political persecution”.

“It is due to his advocacy for universal values such as human rights, democracy, and the rule of law as an active citizen,” he mentioned.

“I’m extremely concerned about his health. It is an absolute minimum for the Australian government to secure the release of Yang before the resumption of normal trade relations with China.”

Cheng has additionally been granted consular visits for the primary time in months and is in comparatively good spirits as information of the enhancing diplomatic relationship filters down from her supporters to the jail cells. The 47-year-old Melbourne mother-of-two has been educating her cellmates English via music lyrics and studying the books of two different Australians detained by overseas governments, Kylie Moore-Gilbert and Peter Greste.

Mo mentioned Yang had been in a position to entry details about the developments, a big enchancment on the months of torture and isolation he endured after he was first arrested.

“He can watch the news there. He noticed news about improving China-Australia relations,” he mentioned.

“I told him it’s a good thing for your case. We can’t make a conclusion, but it depends on the outcome of the negotiation between the two countries.”

Trade Minister Don Farrell is tipped to go to Beijing in February. Albanese flagged “further measures and activities which indicate a much-improved relationship” in December. He is anticipated to go to China for the fiftieth anniversary of Gough Whitlam’s first journey to the nation as prime minister in October.

Yang Hengjun and journalist Cheng Lei, detained Australians in China, have their sentences delayed

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Yang Hengjun and journalist Cheng Lei, detained Australians in China, have their sentences delayed

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