The federal government is urgently seeking to confirm the whereabouts of a Chinese-Australian writer who has apparently vanished in China.
Novelist and influential online commentator Yang Hengjun has reportedly not been seen since he called a friend from Guangzhou airport on Sunday claiming he was being followed by three men.
There are fears the Sydney-based man has been detained by Chinese authorities as part of a crackdown on political expression in the wake of the democratic uprisings sweeping the Middle East.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said officials were seeking more information.
"Consular officers in Guangzhou are seeking to confirm with Chinese authorities the whereabouts of an Australian novelist as a matter of priority and provide him with consular assistance if needed," the spokesperson said.
Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said he had "strong concerns" for Dr Yang's welfare and called on the government to raise the matter at the highest levels.
"The prime minister is visiting China in April," Senator Ludlam told AAP.
"It's very important that this issue be raised if the situation hasn't been resolved by then."
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd should raise the case with the Chinese government immediately, he said.
29 Mar 2011
This does not ONLY happen in China.
In Australia there are also other ways of getting rid of 'uncomfortable' people.