The Australian foreign minister confirmed, Friday, that the Australian-born scientist and writer Yang Jun will be tried in China for espionage next week after he spent more than two years in detention.
Yang Jun is one of two prominent Australians held in China on espionage charges amid escalating tensions between Canberra and Beijing.
The Australian foreign minister said in a statement that the trial of the Chinese-born and now Australian writer, known by his pen name Yang Hengjun, will start on Thursday.
Despite repeated requests from Australian officials, the Chinese authorities have failed to provide any explanation or evidence for the charges against Dr.s “Yang,” Maryse Payne said.
“We have expressed to the Chinese authorities, in clear terms, our concerns about Dr.s Yang added, and the lack of procedural justice in the way her case was handled.
The minister also asked Australian officials to attend the trial, criticizing the so far “closed and ambiguous” process, she said.
US resident Yang Jun, who denies the charges against him, was arrested while returning to China in January 2019.
Another Australian, former CGTN broadcaster Cheng Lei, has been in custody since August in the name of “national security”.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries have continued to be strained since Canberra called for an independent investigation into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic and banned telecommunications giant Huawei from building a 5G network in Australia.
China has taken a raft of measures against dozens of Australian products, including barley, beef and wine.
Two Australian journalists, who feared they would be arrested, chose to leave China last September after being questioned by Chinese police.
Beijing blames Canberra for the Australian police raids on the homes of Chinese journalists residing in Australia, which were carried out as part of an investigation into a possible impact campaign.