Two Chinese defectors - one of them a diplomat who walked away from his post - claim that their homeland is running a &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/columnists/2002/03/13/26960.html ' target=_blank>spy network in Australia and other Western countries.
The diplomat, Chen Yonglin, left his job as the first secretary at the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney last month to seek political asylum in Australia. Chen, 37, claimed China ran a ring of 1,000 spies in Australia involved in illegal activities including abducting Chinese nationals and smuggling them back to China.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has dismissed Chen's claims as slander.
But a second Chinese official seeking asylum in Australia, Hao Feng Jun, backed Chen's claim of a Chinese spy network in Australia in an interview with &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/10/23/38546.html ' target=_blank>Australian Broadcasting Corp. television late Tuesday.
Hao, 32, said he was a member of China`s internal security police engaged in the suppression of dissidents before he came to Australia in February as a tourist and sought asylum, tells the Guardian Unlimited.