How Australian writer Yang Hengjun’s suspended death sentence in China adds to their strained relations


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China announced a suspended death sentence for Australian writer Yang Hengjun on espionage charges, threatening a recent rebound in bilateral ties that followed several years of strained relations between Beijing and Canberra. According to Reuters, a suspended death sentence in China provides the accused with a two-year reprieve from execution before being automatically converted to life imprisonment or, in rare cases, fixed-term imprisonment. The individual who is serving a suspended death sentence remains in prison the entire time. Yang, a pro-democracy blogger, was arrested at the Guangzhou airport in 2019. He served in China’s Ministry of State Security from 1989...