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Monday, 15 September 2003
Page: 20126


Mr Danby asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 20 August 2003:

(1) Is he aware of the case of US citizen and Chinese democracy advocate Wang Bingzhang.

(2) When was he (a) charged, (b) tried, (c) convicted, and (d) sentenced.

(3) With what was he charged and what was his sentence.

(4) Is he a political prisoner.

(5) Was his trial free and fair.

(6) Is he being held in compliance with his basic human rights.

(7) Has the Government made representations to the Chinese Government about Wang Bingzhang's case; if so, (a) when, (b) to whom, (c) by whom, and (d) what was the response; if not, why not.

(8) Was Wang Bingzhang's case discussed at the recent Australia-China Human Rights Dialogue; if so, (a) with whom, (b) by whom, and (c) what was the response; if not, why not.


Mr Downer (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Wang Bingzhang was charged in December 2002; tried, convicted and sentenced in February 2003.

(3) Wang was charged and convicted of organising and leading a terrorist organisation and espionage on behalf of Taiwan and sentenced to life imprisonment. Details of the charge included publishing books and internet articles advocating terrorism over a number of years; and conspiring to blow up the Chinese Embassy in Thailand.

(4) The Australian Government believes he may have been detained and held in breach of international human rights standards.

(5) The trial was not open to the public.

(6) The Chinese authorities have told us that he is.

(7) The Australian Embassy in Beijing made representations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in February 2003. The Ministry advised that Wang had been tried and convicted of organising and leading a terrorist organisation and espionage on behalf of Taiwan and sentenced to life in prison by the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court.

(8) Yes. The Australian delegation to the bilateral Human Rights Dialogue raised his case with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July/ August 2003. The Ministry said Wang was serving a sentence of life imprisonment in Beijiang prison for espionage and leading a terrorist group. He was in good health and in communication with his family.