China has told Australia to stop interfering in the investigation of Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun and to stop issuing “irresponsible remarks”. The Australian foreign minister, Marise Payne, said on Friday the federal government was “deeply disappointed” that Yang had been transferred to criminal detention in China, saying he should be released if he was being held “for his political views”. Payne was seeking clarification over the reasons for his detention.
A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said Beijing was carrying out a lawful investigation. “China’s deplores the statement made by the Australian foreign minister and urges the Australian side not to interfere in China’s lawful handling of the case in any way and stop issuing irresponsible remarks,” he said.