By Tom Bannister
Du Ziying, a Chinese-born Australian citizen,was jailed in China last year after an investigation into his Chinese business dealings. Dr Du was born in Hubei but has had Australian citizenship since the early 1990’s. He founded a successful Australian bio-tech company with a Chinese partner but their business relationship encountered difficulties. On one trip to China in February 2011 Dr Du was detained by police at Beijing’s Capital airport. His family waited for hours at Sydney airport before they realised that Du wasn’t coming home.
The Brisbane Times quoted Dr Du’s lawyer, Mr Huang, as saying: “This is the most miserable case I’ve come across in 10 years as a lawyer”. Dr Du’s arrest follows on from a number of other recent imprisonments of Australian-born Chinese businessmen such as Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu, arrested in 2009, and Mathew Ng, arrested in 2010. Not only do all of these cases demonstrate the shady world of Chinese business, they also highlight the growing reluctance of foreign nations to push the Chinese government on issues of repatriation. The Australian government has been hesitant to pursue Dr Du’s case, with the Foreign minister saying “It is inappropriate for the Australian government to seek to interfere in the legal processes of other countries”.