Labor is deeply concerned by the detention of Australian citizen Mr Yang Hengjun by the Chinese authorities.
We note that the Government has said at this stage there is no evidence of a connection to the detention of Canadian citizens. Like the Government we would be deeply concerned if any such link existed.
Labor has been briefed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is fully supportive of the Australian Government’s efforts to obtain clarification on the nature of the detention and any possible charges. We call on the Chinese Government to ensure Mr Yang is treated in a fair, unbiased and transparent manner.
Australia is a country governed by the rule of law, which cannot be compromised or politicised. We will always assert and protect our interests and safeguard our sovereignty. This includes defending democracy, free speech, the rule of law, and the protection of rights, including freedom from intimidation.
Labor has consistently said that a constructive relationship is in both Australia and China’s interests. Engagement and cooperation are vital even within a context of difference or disagreement.
We note the increased concern from the business and academic community in Australia and elsewhere regarding travel to China. We encourage Australians to consult smartraveller.gov.au and follow DFAT’s travel advice.
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.