Officials from Beijing were allowed to interrogate Chinese held in Australian detention centers it was revealed yesterday, even as another defector said yesterday that China is using a vast network of spies in an attempt to turn Australia into a "political colony."
Former Beijing University professor Yuan Hongbing (袁紅兵), the fourth Chinese defector to surface in Australia in the past month, supported charges by a rebel Chinese diplomat that Beijing had an extensive network of agents in the country.
The agents are targeting Chinese dissidents and are also being used to influence political thought "to turn Australia into a political colony of China," Yuan told ABC radio.
Yuan's charges came as it was reported that almost 50 Chinese people held in Australian immigration centers were put in isolation for more than two weeks last month and interrogated by Chinese government officials.
Some of the detainees were reportedly political dissidents or members of the spiritual group Falun Gong, which is banned in China.
Rights activists said the Australian government may have breached its human rights and legal obligations by allowing the interrogations.
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