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As Australian-Chinese writer Yang Hengjun's trial begins, his prospects remain bleak

By Tony Walker, Vice-chancellor's fellow, La Trobe University
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In Beijing, the secret trial on spying charges of Australian citizen Yang Hengjun will constitute another sour chapter in Australia-China relations, which remain locked in a downward spiral.

Yang’s trial is set to begin this week with no family, friends or Australian consular officials present. He will be represented by his lawyer.

Penalties under Chinese law for espionage range from three years to death. Acquittal rates in the Chinese court system…

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