News / Asia

Chinese Student Suspected in Australia Industrial Spy Probe

TEXT SIZE - +
Phil Mercer
— Australia is investigating a suspected case of industrial espionage at the country's top scientific organization as a Chinese man is suspected of accessing data at a nanotechnology laboratory. The case comes as Australia is embroiled in disputes over spying with East Timor and Indonesia. 
 
The case revolves around the unauthorized use of computers at Australia’s government-funded scientific body, the CSIRO, and is being investigated by the nation’s intelligence agencies. They are trying to find out if a Chinese student sent sensitive information from a highly sensitive nanotechnology facility in the southern city of Melbourne to a foreign power. No arrests have yet been made.
 
The case may further test Canberra’s relations with Beijing following disagreements over China’s new air defense zone in disputed waters. Last week, Australia’s foreign minister called in China's ambassador to Canberra to ask for an explanation.
 
Australia is also fending off allegations that it secretly recorded government ministers in East Timor a decade ago to gain an advantage during negotiations over oil and gas royalties.  
 
East Timor will go before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in the Netherlands Thursday to challenge the validity of a treaty struck with Australia in 2006. The government in Dili wants the agreement to be annulled because of the alleged espionage.
 
Bernard Colleary, a lawyer representing East Timor in its spying case against Canberra, claims Australian security agents have raided his law practice.
 
“As I understand it, agents of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization - ASIO - executed a search warrant on my law practice and spent some hours there seizing all manner of documents and other records on the basis that there was a national security issue,” said Colleary.
 
The Australian government insists that the raid had nothing to do with the espionage case at The Hague, stressing that it was undertaken for reasons of national security. However, Colleary firmly rejects that assertion.
 
“This can only relate to the proceedings against Australia over the bugging of the Timor Leste cabinet offices during the negotiations for a petroleum and gas treaty in 2004… This is a further step in the actions by Australia to shore up its illegally procured treaty,” said Colleary.
 
Last month, Indonesia suspended military cooperation with Australia over reports that Canberra had spied on its officials. 
 
Indonesia also suspended joint efforts with Australia to combat people smuggling after revelations that Canberra monitored the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and some senior ministers.


A letter from Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the Indonesian leader has not been enough to end the controversy. Now, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is travelling to Jakarta to hold talks with her Indonesian counterpart.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid