- Title: China berates Australia for interference in case of detained writer Yang Hengjun
- Date: 29th August 2019
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (AUGUST 29, 2019) (REUTERS) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN GENG SHUANG ARRIVING AT REGULAR NEWS BRIEFING JOURNALISTS SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN GENG SHUANG, SAYING: "Some of the comments from the Australian side completely turn the truth upside down and are self-contradictory. On the one hand they say they respect China's judicial sovereignty and won't interfere in China's judicial (operations), but on the other hand they make wanton accusations on matters within China's jurisdiction and try to pressure our country.' NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN GENG SHUANG, SAYING: "I want to once again stress China is a country with the rule of law. China's judiciary independently processes cases according to the law. I advise the Australian side to immediately stop making comments which are not backed up by evidence and are irresponsible and stop the hype and the pressure and do more which benefits Sino-Australian relations and the cooperation between both countries rather than the opposite." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS EXTERIOR OF FOREIGN MINISTRY BUILDING CHINESE NATIONAL FLAG FLYING
- Embargoed: 12th September 2019 11:36
- Keywords: Yang Hengjun Australian writer Scott Morrison Geng Shuang Chinese foreign ministry
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AU9UBT3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:China chastised Australia on Thursday (August 29) for its "irresponsible" and "wanton" comments after Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier said his government would advocate for the release of the Australian writer, Yang Hengjun, held by Beijing on suspicion of espionage.
Yang, a former Chinese diplomat turned online journalist and blogger, was last week formally arrested by Chinese authorities, seven months after he was detained in the country. China has warned Australia not to interfere in its legal process, but Morrison said on Thursday Australia will not be silenced.
When asked to comment at a regular briefing in Beijing later on Thursday Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang condemned Morrison's remarks.
"On the one hand they say they do not interfere in China's judicial sovereignty, but on the other hand they make wanton accusations on matters within China's jurisdiction and try to pressure our country," Geng said.
Morrison's comments came as Yang pleaded with the Australian prime minister to "help me go home as soon as possible" during a Aug 27 visit by staff from Australia's embassy in Beijing, a source familiar with the details told Reuters. China has not allowed Yang, whose legal name is Yang Jun, access to his lawyers or family since his detention, the Australian government has said.
Yang's arrest comes amid growing diplomatic tension between Canberra and Beijing, including accusations of Chinese meddling in domestic political affairs that China has denied. Strong trade ties between the two sides add to the diplomatic sensitivity of the case, as China is Australia's biggest export market.
(Production: Martin Pollard, Wang Shubing)
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