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Chinese Defector Presents 'New Evidence' in Australia Spy Network

  • Phil Mercer

A former Chinese secret policeman who is seeking asylum in Australia has provided more evidence to support his allegations that Beijing has a network of agents carrying out surveillance on dissidents. Would-be defector Hao Feng Jun says he has hundreds of sensitive documents that show that the Chinese government is spying on members of the spiritual movement Falun Gong in Australia.

Hao Feng Jun says among the documents he smuggled out of China is an intelligence report that details plans by the Falun Gong movement to host a conference in Sydney. Mr. Hao says it was compiled in Beijing and circulated to senior Chinese officials. The report names the organizers of the Falun Gong meeting and accuses them of being engaged in "quite a few activities that would disturb and damage the Chinese government."

Mr. Hao says he worked for a Chinese security service known as 6-10, which he says was set up specifically to wipe out Falun Gong. The movement has been labeled an "evil cult" by Beijing.

Mr. Hao's documents were obtained and independently translated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which says there is no way at this stage to confirm their authenticity.

This new information has drawn no official response from Beijing or the Chinese Embassy in Canberra. A middle-ranking Chinese diplomat, who is also seeking asylum in Australia, however, has said the documents appear to be genuine.

Chen Yonglin abandoned his post at China's consulate in Sydney last month. He, too, has asked for asylum, claiming he would be persecuted if he returned home because of his support for Falun Gong. The former diplomat is in hiding. Like Mr. Hao, he claims that China's network of spies and informers in Australia is extensive.

Mr. Chen has told Australian television that a senior Chinese security official told staff at the consulate in Sydney to work harder to gather information on dissidents.

"Of course he said that the consulate came to know about implementing the government policy of the policy strategy, like, fight eyeball to eyeball, should be more aggressive," he said.

The asylum claims of both Chinese officials are being processed by Australia's Immigration Department.

Australia's Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has said her department is due to interview Mr. Chen about his refugee application later this week.

China has dismissed the allegations of espionage made by both would-be defectors as lies.