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826Chinese diplomat says there are 1000 Chinese spies in Australia

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  • Greg Cannon
    Jun 4, 2005

      1000 Chinese spies here, says diplomat
      By Frank Walker
      Kerry-Anne Walsh
      June 5, 2005

      A senior Chinese diplomat who wants to defect said he
      can help identify many of the "thousand secret agents"
      China has in Australia.

      Chen Yonglin said he feared for his life and was on
      the run with his wife Jin Ping, 38 and six-year-old
      daughter because Chinese agents were after him.

      Speaking at a pro-democracy rally in Sydney yesterday
      to mark the 16th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square
      massacre, Mr Chen said Chinese agents had kidnapped
      dissidents in Australia and forced them back to China.

      "I am seeking political asylum in Australia. I am in a
      very dangerous situation. Chinese agents are looking
      for me and they could kidnap me," Mr Chen said after
      the rally.

      Mr Chen, 37, was consul for political affairs at the
      Chinese consulate in Sydney. He fled the consulate a
      week ago and went into hiding, fearing he would be
      persecuted for his pro-democracy views.

      Yesterday he was protected by two Anglo-Saxon men who
      said they were part of a pro-democracy movement in
      China, and was later hustled away by rally organisers.

      "My job at the consulate was to monitor and persecute
      the democracy activists and Falun Gong practitioners
      in Australia.

      "If I am sent back to China I will be persecuted. I
      believe there are a thousand Chinese agents in
      Australia . . . I told the Department of Foreign
      Affairs that Australian security was threatened by the
      Chinese Government. They have kidnapped dissidents

      Mr Chen fears the Government is concerned about the
      impact his defection would have on trade with China.
      "They told me I was rejected. They said protection
      visa would have serious consequences."

      He told protesters that the Chinese people had no
      political or religious freedom.

      The Federal Government yesterday pulled down the
      information shutters as it tried to work out what to
      do with Mr Chen.

      A spokeswoman for the Foreign Affairs Department
      refused to say anything beyond the department was
      "aware an official from the Chinese consulate-general
      in Sydney has applied for a protection visa".

      A spokesman for Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone
      would say only that "any application that is lodged is
      processed in the usual manner".

      Prime Minister John Howard's office would not comment,
      nor would the Attorney-General's spokeswoman.

      No comment was available from the Chinese embassy in

      Foreign affairs expert Keith Suter said Mr Chen's
      application was a major headache because the
      Government was expanding its relationship with China.

      If the application had been made during the Cold War,
      the Government would have welcomed the Chen family
      with "open arms", Dr Suter told Sky News.

      Australia has granted only three people political
      asylum, all following the end of the Cold War.