Yang Hengjun will not appeal suspended death sentence in China, family says

Australian writer Yang Hengjun will not appeal against the suspended death sentence imposed by a Chinese court, with his family saying further legal challenges would be detrimental to his welfare. Yang was found guilty on espionage charges in China in February after spending five years in prison. He will still face the prospect of life behind bars at the end of a two-year suspended death sentence. In a letter written by Yang’s family and friends, they said they supported the imprisoned writer’s decision to waive his right to appeal. “There…

Australia detains alleged key player in North Korean tobacco smuggling scheme after US request

A Chinese national has been quietly arrested and detained in Australia for 11 months at the request of US authorities investigating an alleged tobacco smuggling conspiracy that generated an estimated A$1.1bn (US$700m) in revenue to North Korea. Jin Guanghua, 52, was arrested by the Australian federal police in Melbourne last March. Described in US court documents as an Australian resident, Jin was kept in custody in Melbourne for several months before being transferred to immigration detention while awaiting extradition. The Federal Bureau of Investigation alleges Jin and others conspired for…

Chinese hackers infiltrated plane, train and water systems for five years, US says

An advanced group of Chinese hackers taking aim at critical US infrastructure has been active for as long as half a decade, American and allied intelligence agencies said in a joint statement on Wednesday. The US National Security Agency, US cyber watchdog CISA, the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration said that the group known as Volt Typhoon had quietly burrowed into the networks of aviation, rail, mass transit, highway, maritime, pipeline, water and sewage organizations. None of the organizations were identified by name, but the statement said that US…

Papua New Guinea’s PM to address Australian parliament as Pacific security race with China builds

Australia will roll out the red carpet to the visiting Papua New Guinea prime minister, James Marape, amid efforts to stall China’s security talks with the Pacific country. Marape is due to arrive in Canberra on Wednesday before he addresses a joint sitting of the Australian parliament on Thursday – the first Pacific leader to be afforded this honour. Amid increasing competition for influence in the region, the Australian government will seek to build on the security agreement with PNG that Marape and Anthony Albanese signed just two months ago.…

Australian Yang Hengjun’s death sentence is a warning shot to anyone who wants to challenge China | Richard McGregor

The death sentence handed to Yang Hengjun, an Australian citizen and pro-democracy activist, by a Beijing court has naturally focused attention on what the verdict means for bilateral ties with Canberra. A more interesting question, however, might set the lens wider, and ask what message the verdict on Monday was designed to send, not just to Australia, but to anyone at home or abroad critical of China’s ruling Communist party. The answer to that question lies in the serious charge of espionage that was levelled against Yang, and the rising…

Government ‘appalled’ by suspended death sentence for Australian academic, Penny Wong says – video

Foreign minister Penny Wong says Australian academic Yang Hengjun has received a suspended death sentence in China, an outcome that has ‘appalled’ the Australian government. ‘We understand that this can be committed to a life sentence following two years,’ Wong said. ‘We will be communicating our response in the strongest terms’ The Guardian

Australian academic Yang Hengjun given suspended death sentence by Chinese court

Australian academic Yang Hengjun has been given a suspended death sentence by a Chinese court, after five years in detention on espionage charges. Yang was arrested in 2019 at Guangzhou airport, accused of spying for an undisclosed foreign country. The pro-democracy blogger is an Australian citizen who was born in China. Penny Wong, Australia’s foreign minister, said on Monday the government was “appalled by this decision”, and said they had called in the Chinese ambassador to lodge Canberra’s objection. Yang’s detention in China has been a key point of friction…

Prominent Australians urge Albanese government to adopt activist middle power role to head off war between US and China

Australia must step up diplomatic efforts to “avert the horror of great power conflict” and reduce the risk of being dragged into a war between the US and China, according to 50 prominent Australians. The group, which includes the former foreign ministers Bob Carr and Gareth Evans, is urging the Albanese government to play an “activist middle power” role to reduce tensions between Australia’s top security ally and its biggest trading partner. In a statement published on Wednesday, the prominent Australians said they were “apprehensive these tensions may lead to…

China and the US are playing nice for now but flashpoints remain. They must agree to peace | Bob Carr and Gareth Evans

The environment in the Asia-Pacific is less alarming than it was a year ago. Washington and Beijing are talking again. So are Canberra and Beijing. The United States is focused, externally, on the Middle East and the Russia-Ukraine war and, internally, on this year’s presidential election. China is preoccupied with stabilising and energising its domestic economy. For now Beijing has largely silenced its diplomatic wolf warriors, Washington has been less accusatory and neither side seems in the mood to escalate tensions – over Taiwan, trade or anything else. But none…

BoM forecasts category three storm – as it happened

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