China rejects Australian writer’s torture claim in trial

China rejects Australian writer’s torture claim in trial

BEIJING — A Chinese government spokesperson on Tuesday rejected an Australian writer’s complaint that he was tortured during interrogation before being put on trial on spying charges.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson also accused Australia of “unfounded provocation” after its foreign minister said Yang Hengjun’s incarceration since January 2019 was arbitrary detention.

“There is no arbitrary detention or forced confession with torture on Yang Jun,” said spokesperson Wang Wenbin, referring to Yang by the name used by Chinese officials.

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“We advise the Australian side to stop finger-pointing and unfound provocation against China’s rule of law, stop hyping the issue or exerting pressures to grossly interfere with China’s judicial sovereignty,” Wang said.

The case has added to strains in Chinese-Australian relations that are at their chilliest in decades following disputes over technology, security and the coronavirus.

Yang, a crime novelist and blogger, said he asked the judge ahead of his trial last week to exclude records of his interrogation because he

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