Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks

Q1: Today Australia announced a new intelligence task force to combat espionage and foreign interference. How does China feel about that decision and and has China set to interfere in Australian politics? Also, Australian foreign minister described the treatment of the Australian author detained in China as “unacceptable”. Do you have any response to that?

A: Your question reminds me of something I saw. Perhaps you have also noted that recently people from Australia’s government, media and academic sectors questioned the Wang Liqiang “espionage case” hyped up by Australian, British and US media. I’ve seen reports that Australian security authorities explained to the National Security Committee of Cabinet that Wang’s information lacks details, and it is very likely that he is using espionage as an excuse to seek asylum or residence permit. I also saw an article China Spy Farce ran by Australia’s Daily Telegraph, saying Wang is attempting to seek asylum or residence permit with false testimony. Australian academics believe that when it comes to issues about China in their country, conclusions are often drawn in the absence of firm evidence.

For quite some time, certain Australian media and other agencies have been hyping up the so-called “China espionage cases”, “China infiltration stories” or “China interference theory”. No matter how bizarre and outlandish, they are just one ridiculous farce or shoddy soap opera after another. This case is further proof.

This is indeed baffling. Some people would believe liars with ulterior motives rather than official information from the Chinese government. Wang Liqiang is just one case in point. All should reflect upon and stay on high alert to what lies beneath such foolish and absurd acts. We urge relevant sides to draw a lesson from this, discard prejudice, respect facts and avoid repeating such glaring mistakes.

Q2: Could you give China’s response to the Australian foreign minister who called the treatment of Yang Hengjun “unacceptable” following reports from a recent consular visit that he was being tortured?

A: Actually I already answered a similar question. Lately there have been so many “espionage” cases, but one after another, they have all been proven to be false. From Wang Liqiang to Simon Cheng, so many cases have exposed the lies. Shouldn’t one learn from that?

As to the specific case you mentioned, we’ve stated our position repeatedly. China’s national security organ handles the case in accordance with law and fully guarantees Yang's rights. To my knowledge, he is in good physical condition. The so-called “torture” is simply non-existent.

I hope media agencies will have the basic sense to make proper judgments and discern fake news. It is dreadful and highly dangerous to believe liars instead of information released by a responsible government.

(Source: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks on December 2, 2019)

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