Chen Yonglin breaks down at news conference

Never a dull moment as the Chen saga continues.

A former Chinese diplomat seeking asylum in Australia broke down and cried at a news conference in Sydney on Wednesday, saying he believed Canberra and Beijing had agreed to send him back to China.

“I am really scared. I don’t know what to do,” said an emotional Chen Yonglin, the former political affairs consul at the Chinese consulate in Sydney.

“I have witnessed so many under the table deals between the Australian government and Chinese diplomats I truely sense I will be betrayed or sold out by the Australian government,” said Chen.

Chen made public his bid for asylum on June 4 at a Sydney rally to mark the anniversary of the 1989 crushing of Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests in Beijing.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said on Wednesday no decision had yet been made on the asylum request, but Chen was not convinced.

“I feel I may have already been sold out. They have reached an agreement to send me back to China,” he said.

Chen said he feared for his safety if he was returned to China. “It is possible I may face dire consequences,” he said.

…Chen, who has been in hiding with his wife and young daughter, said his life has been a “living hell” since leaving the consulate. He said he had decided to hold a news conference because he was desperate for help.

“Who can help me? I don’t know,” he said. Chen said he was interviewed by an immigration official last Thursday, but had heard nothing since and believed his fate had already been decided.

“I am sandwiched between two major countries,” he said. “I feel I have no choice (but to go public) because I feel my protection application is going to be rejected.”

Play actor or justifiably terrified hero? As usual with this story, all I can say is “I don’t know.”

The Discussion: 12 Comments

maybe he should try iceland. They took Bobby Fischer, another man who was disliked by a big, bad country.

I’m a bit surpised that after all his media antics there haven’t been more followups to his claims.

June 22, 2005 @ 6:25 pm | Comment

Personally, If I were going to seek asylum somewhere, I ‘d head for Thailand. They’re known for taking just about anybody under their wing.

June 22, 2005 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

And Thailand is even more fun than Australia., and cheaper.

June 22, 2005 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

gordon, thailand is too dangerous to mr. chen, there are a lot of chinese tourists. i would suggest nz first, then perhaps an european country

June 22, 2005 @ 8:01 pm | Comment

“I’m a bit surpised that after all his media antics there haven’t been more followups to his claims.”

If you read his original speech, he did not make any specific claim. He usually make speculations with “possibly”, or “a lot, maybe thousands”. He also said he has no direct contact with spies.

Bottomline, he really knows little and most of claims are just speculation.

Personally, I think OZ should give Chen asylum status. I think CCP will not care. If Oz can accomodate all FLG people, CCP probably would be happy to send all of them to Oz. It will be a wonderful solution for both countries.

June 22, 2005 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

when you say send them to oz, i think of the hbo tv show. . .

June 22, 2005 @ 11:29 pm | Comment

i have been kind of suprised by all of the cynicism towards this whole story that i have seen on the net.
even if he originally was a pretty minor guy in the embassy or whatever, there is no doubt in my mind that if he were to be sent back here now, nothing good would happen to him.
i know that there have supposedly been reassurances that nothing would happen, but i think those are lies as usual.
i don’t know the guy, but when he says he is scared of being sent back, i don’t think anything could be more honest. think i’d cry too. might even crap my pants…

June 23, 2005 @ 2:15 am | Comment

above: “even if he originally was a pretty minor guy”
i don’t mean to suggest that he was, just saying “even if he was”

June 23, 2005 @ 2:17 am | Comment

But Bobby Fischer is on the high end of human intelligence.

I heard that Chen doesn’t even speak English well. Man, after 50+ years in power, the CCP still can’t find minimum competent people to work for the regime.

Is Fischer’s trouble with State Department over?

June 23, 2005 @ 3:19 am | Comment

i think chen’s full speech is here:

he spoke in english and the chinese translation was prepared by the epoch times reporter. the chinese read fine, but the english was all over the place.

the 1,000 spies was based upon this Q&A:

Q: How many Chinese secret agents are there in Australia? Are there a lot, or a few?

A: I believe a lot, a thousand possibly. As we try to find someone or find some situation we can easily assess that.

June 23, 2005 @ 3:30 am | Comment

Asylum will never be granted since Australia is such a small puny country that needs Beijing business to survive.

He should seek Asylum from the USA which MAY grant him asylum if the right buttons are pressed e.g. giving USA proof that human rights records are truly bad, so that US can flex its muscles and make Beijing increase the martket value of the YUAN, and to float it.

Asylum is basically stupid. It is an international lie. This Chen guy is already dead meat man.

The safest place for him is probably Ethiopia cos no one wants to go there, not even to catch an enemy.

June 24, 2005 @ 11:36 am | Comment

oops, first time to hear that Aussies actually live in a tiny little country.

A good read: Chen Yonglin: Wrong country, wrong century

June 25, 2005 @ 5:32 am | Comment

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