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Chen claims hit squad sent to assassinate him -

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(generated from captions) who's a senior official within the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Lateline hasn't seen the email and has no way of verifying the claims. However, Mr Chen says he's scared and he's willing to risk his reputation by making the allegations publicly. I have no choice but to disclose their plan and hope the Australian people will believe. Mr Chen says he's already under surveillance, saying he confronted a Chinese man filming him and his family in a Sydney restaurant last night. "Why are you recording us with camera, video camera?" And he hesitated and stood up and said, "What person are you?" And then we - my friend and my family - are quite...were quite frightened and hurried away. The owner of the restaurant has confirmed there was a confrontation involving Mr Chen at his premises last night and the New South Wales Police are investigating the incident. Chen Yonglin defected from the Chinese Consulate in Sydney in May, making allegations of an extensive spy network in Australia. These claims were backed by a second defector, former spy Hao Fengjun. There has been doubt cast over another of Mr Chen's claims - that Chinese spies kidnapped the son of a man on the run from authorities in China. Alexander Downer is sceptical of the latest allegation. It would be highly improbable that the Chinese would be sending assassination squads around the world chasing people who have got protection visas of one kind or another. I mean, this happens on many occasions around the world and I haven't ever heard of it happening, at least in modern times. Security analyst Clive Williams has similar concerns. The Ministry for State Security, which is the main Chinese intelligence service overseas, mainly engages in espionage. It also monitors local Chinese communities, but it doesn't engage in that kind of assassination activity. A spokeswoman for the Chinese Embassy says Mr Chen's claims are absurd. Michael Edwards, Lateline. To Iraq now. And while there has been enormous coverage of the ongoing insurgency much less attention has been paid to the political battle that may ultimately do more to shape the country's future. Negotiations over Iraq's constitution have hit a brick wall. The original deadline to strike a deal passed overnight with Iraq's parliament voting to extend talks by one week. But deep divisions remain between Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. And there are fears Iraq's road to democracy is under threat. Norman Hermant reports. Iraq's National Assembly did vote but this was not the breakthrough leaders had hoped for. Instead with negotiations on the constitution deadlocked all politicians could do was approve an extension. Seven more days to try to hammer out a deal. So many ethnic, religious nationalities in Iraq. It is a very difficult job. So far, there's no agreement on the role of Islamic law and on the rights of women. Kurds are demanding not only autonomy but the eventual right to secede. Shiites in the south also want self-rule and there remain big differences on the division of Iraq's oil wealth. Despite the failure to reach agreement Washington was still publicly optimistic. They are considering all of the difficult issues before them,