Chinese-Australian scholar charged with espionage to appear in court next week in China

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has confirmed that Yang Jun, a Chinese-Australian academic and writer who has been imprisoned in China for more than two years, will appear in court on espionage charges in China on the 27th.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement last night that Yang Jun will be tried on espionage charges on the 27th. Yang Jun’s pseudonym is Yang Hengjun.

Payne said, “Despite repeated requests from Australian officials, the Chinese authorities have not provided an explanation or evidence for the charges facing Dr. Yang.”

“We have clearly communicated to the Chinese authorities that we have misgivings about the handling of Dr. Yang’s case and the lack of procedural justice.”

Penn also called on the Chinese authorities to allow Australian officials to attend the court and criticized the trial process as “closed and opaque.”

But the Chinese Embassy in Australia called Penn’s comments “extremely egregious” and said Yang’s rights were being respected.

“The Australian side should respect China’s judicial sovereignty and not meddle in the legitimate handling of this case by the Chinese judicial authorities,” a Chinese embassy spokesman said in a statement.

Yang Jun returned to China from his home in the United States in 2019 and was arrested there, where he denied the espionage charges, among other charges.