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China Blocks Outspoken Academic from Returning to Australia

BEIJING — The lawyer for a professor at an Australian university says the academic has been prevented by Chinese authorities from returning to Sydney because he’s suspected of endangering national security.

Chen Jinxue, lawyer for Feng Chongyi, an associate professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said Sunday that border officials at an airport in southern China refused to let Feng catch his flight home.

Feng had been wrapping up a three-week trip during which he was researching human rights lawyers.

Chen said state security officials met with Feng at his hotel in the city of Guangzhou and asked him during a two-hour conversation who he met with in China and in Australia.

China’s Ministry of Public Security and authorities in Guangzhou did not respond to calls and faxed requests for comment.

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