China to try Australian writer on espionage charges

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BEIJING (AP) — Australia says its citizen Yang Hengjun will be tried by a Chinese court on espionage charges on Thursday amid deteriorating relations between the countries. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Yang has been held since arriving in China in January 2019 and has had no access to family and only limited contact with his legal representation. She said Chinese authorities have not provided any explanation or evidence for the charges he faces. As relations with China have deteriorated, Beijing has blocked Australian exports including beef, wine, coal, lobsters, wood and barley. But Australia’s most lucrative export, iron ore, still has eager buyers among Chinese steel manufacturers.

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