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Australian minister: no proof writer's detention in China related to Canada, Australia policies

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Australian minister: no proof writer's detention in China related to Canada, Australia policies
Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne speaks to the media at the Australian embassy in Beijing, China January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee   -   Copyright  JASON LEE(Reuters)
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said on Monday there was no proof the detention of a Chinese-born Australian writer by authorities in Beijing was related to the detention of Canadians in China.

Pyne also said the detention of the Australian, Yang Hengjun, was not linked to recent Australian policies but he did not elaborate.

Yang was detained in southern China earlier this month and taken to Beijing where China has said he was held under “coercive measures”, a euphemism for detention, as he is being investigated on suspicion of “endangering state security”.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks between China and some Western countries after two Canadians, a diplomat on unpaid leave and a consultant, were arrested in China on suspicion of endangering state security.

(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Michael Perry)

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