Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Archival Rescue 64 ~ Defection, Aus

Second defector speaks out, worked in 6-10;

Chen's spy claim backed by second defector

June 8, 2005 - 1:10AM Sydney Morning Herald

A second Chinese defector has backed claims China has spies operating in Australia.

Hao Feng Jun, 32, who says he worked as a security officer in Tianjin in China's north, says China has a large spy network operating overseas.

"They spend out businessmen and students out to overseas countries as spies," he told the ABC's Lateline program through a translator.

Mr Hao applied for political asylum in February while in Australia as a tourist and he says he is currently on a bridging visa, the program reported.

"If I go back to China, there's no doubt the communist Government will certainly persecute me. They know I have confidential information - some of it top secret - and I'll be severely punished," he said.

Mr Hao says he worked for the local branch of a security service known as 6-10, set up specifically to wipe out the religious group Falun Gong.

"Back in China I worked in the 6-10 office and every day a lot of time was dealing with the reports that were being sent in from overseas," he told the program.

"They'd send all this intelligence information through from Australia, from North America, Canada and other countries and are reported back to the National Security Bureau, but also the Public Security Bureau.

"They'd sent back lots of information," Mr Hao said.

His bureau in Tianjin received money from the Chinese Government, which was used to pay for spies to gather information about Falun Gong and other dissident groups, as well as military and business groups.

Mr Hao said he believed Former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin's claims there was a 1000-strong spy network operating in Australia.

"I worked in the police office in the security bureau and I believe that what Mr Chen says is true."

Mr Hao said he had seen evidence that spies infiltrate groups such as Falun Gong overseas and collect information on their members to be sent back to China.

He said he started out as a policeman before being transferred to 6-10, but left because he saw evidence of torture by his colleagues.

"I had to go to the place where they'd detained a Falun Gong follower ... When we got there she had two huge black bruises on her back and two cuts on her back about 20 centimetres long.

"One policeman was using a half-metre length of metal bar to beat her. When I saw this I knew I couldn't do this work," he said.

Mr Hao's statements come after days of intense media coverage of Mr Chen's case.

The 37-year-old is in hiding after abandoning his job as first secretary at the Chinese consulate-general in Sydney on May 26, saying he faced persecution if he returned home after his four-year posting in Australia.

He said China had a spy network operating here, a claim Beijing flatly rejects.

But there are now calls for an inquiry into the Immigration Department's handling of Mr Chen's application for asylum.



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