‘He won’t be home any time soon’: Daughter fears for academic detained in China

University of Technology Sydney China studies Associate Professor Feng Chongyi. Source: Supplied

The Australian government has been unable to give consular assistance to Feng Chongyi, who has been detained in China.

Feng Yunsi has tried to speak to her father every day since secret police stopped him from leaving China.

“My dad's a very strong man. I think he's doing his best to keep in good spirits,” she told SBS News.

“Obviously, my mum is a little more anxious, especially as the days go on and there doesn’t seem to be any sign he’ll be released.”

University of Technology Sydney Associate Professor Feng Chongyi was travelling in China with his wife when he was stopped from boarding a flight to Sydney in Guangzhou last weekend.

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A critic of China’s ruling Communist Party, it’s understood he has not been arrested or charged with any offences.

He teaches China studies at the UTS and has been teaching in Australia for more than 20 years.

“All he ever wanted to do is further peoples' understanding of China and China's role in our world and China-Australia relations,” Ms Feng said.

“I haven't received any indication that he will come home any time soon but at the same time he is still safe, his health is fine, and that really helps me be a little more relieved about the situation.”

Mr Feng is a permanent resident of Australia but is not an Australian citizen. He travelled to China under his Chinese passport to speak to human rights lawyers.

The Australian government said it could do little to help him.

"Australian officials can only provide consular assistance to Australian citizens who enter China on an Australian passport," the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement to SBS News.

"However, the government is monitoring developments closely and has raised this case with senior Chinese officials."

His daughter is looking forward to what she hopes is his eventual safe return.

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