John Garnaut of the Sydney Morning Herald reports:
An Australian writer who many consider to be the most influential political commentator on the Chinese language internet has disappeared, apparently at the hands of Chinese police.
Yang Hengjun, who retired from the Chinese Foreign Ministry to become a Sydney-based spy novelist, intellectual and blogger, has not been seen since phoning a colleague from Guangzhou airport on Sunday with news that he was being followed by three men.
If Dr Yang does not promptly reappear, then his name will be added to the list of challenges facing Julia Gillard when she arrives in Beijing next month for her first visit as prime minister.
The latest tweet from @yanghengjun sent on March 27: “I am the blog administrator of Teacher Yang. This evening, he called to say that he was being tailed by three men at the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, and since then, I’ve been unable to reach him. Would everyone please pay attention to this.”
Meanwhile, Australian PM Julia Gillard parliamentary computer is suspected to be hacked along with those of 10 other ministers, including Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith. As many as a few thousand emails may have been accessed in total, and Chinese intelligence agencies are on the list of prime suspects.
Danwei’s interview with Yang Hengjun at CNBloggerCon 2008: