China moved to prosecute an Australian writer detained in the mainland for almost two years on spying charges, the latest strain on an increasingly tense relationship between Beijing and Canberra.
Beijing prosecutors indicted Yang Hengjun on allegations
of espionage, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao
Lijian told a regular news briefing on Monday. Yang, a Chinese-born Australian national who’s also known as Yang Jun, became well known as a writer and commentator after previously working as a Chinese
foreign affairs official in Beijing, according to the Australian newspaper.
“The relevant Chinese authorities are handling the case strictly and in accordance with the law, and fully protecting Yang Jun’s lawful rights,” Zhao said on Monday in Beijing. He was detained in Guangzhou in January 2019 after flying in from the US, and was formally arrested on espionage allegations that August.