A Sydney-based Chinese academic remains in China after being barred from returning to Australia.
A Sydney-based Chinese academic remains in limbo in China while awaiting another round of questioning by secret police who have stopped him flying home to Australia.
Associate professor Chongyi Feng, who has previously spoken out against China's ruling Communist Party "shutting down speech", is stranded with his wife in Guangzhou after being barred from flying to Australia for the second time in two days on Saturday.
The University of Technology Sydney professor had been in China researching Chinese human rights lawyers and was suspected of being involved in a threat to national security.
Former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in a statement on Monday he was making representations in Beijing and Canberra about the University of Technology Sydney professor's case.
Mr Carr, director of UTS' Australia-China Relations Institute, also said there was "evidence that private representations could be more effective than other approaches".
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is unable to provide assistance for Dr Feng, a permanent resident, as he did not enter China on an Australian passport.
The university, however, said it believed the federal government was "taking the matter up."
A friend of Dr Feng's, John Hugh, spoke by telephone with Dr Feng on Monday and said while he remained calm he was frustrated at not being able to leave China.
He said Dr Feng was initially questioned in Kunming last Monday by officials from China's National Safety Bureau who wanted him to undergo a lie detector test.
Dr Feng refused the test.
"I asked him when he would be back and he said at this stage he didn't know," said Mr Hugh, who along with Dr Feng is a member of the Australian Values Alliance, a group of Chinese migrants advocating "freedom and dignity of the individual as one of the core Australian values."
"Then I asked him if he was going to be interviewed again by them and he said, yes definitely.
"They asked him very, very personal and detailed questions, like how much he gets paid, who are his friends in Sydney, and about his work too."
Dr Feng and his wife travelled last week to Guangzhou from Kunming intending to board a flight to Sydney but were stopped from travelling.
They are currently staying at a hotel in the city and are free to roam about.
"His movements inside China aren't officially restricted, but national security authorities have questioned him a number of times about who he's met and that kind of thing," Dr Feng's lawyer Chen Jinxue told the New York Times.
Dr Feng has also spoken publicly about the Chinese government's influence in Australia but another friend, Professor John Fitzgerald, a Swinburne University academic, said Dr Feng was one of many Chinese scholars in Australia who speak openly and frankly about problems in the relationship.
He denied his friend was a dissident.
"He's a loyal China patriot who sees himself as contributing to a debate within China about reform and development of China's current system," Prof Fitzgerald told ABC radio.
UTS has asked the Chinese Consulate in Sydney "for a speedy resolution".