Holes in Chen Yonglin’s story?

Here’s an update that is bound to put a dent in Chen’s credibility.

SERIOUS doubts have been cast on one of the key claims renegade Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin used to justify his attempted defection to Australia.

Mr Chen accused Beijing of mounting a kidnapping operation on Australian soil to take hostage the student son of a fugitive Chinese politician to coerce his return home to face justice.

But yesterday he backed away from the claims when confronted by new evidence. “I said that in fear, and I don’t want to talk about it again,” he told The Weekend Australian.

The runaway diplomat had earlier told The Australian through a minder, Jin Chin, that the student, Lan Meng, was kidnapped by Chinese agents in Sydney, “taken by fishing boat to a Chinese cargo ship on the high seas”, then held hostage in China to force his father to give himself up.

The father, Lan Fu, returned to China from Australia in February 2000. In November that year he was sentenced to death for taking bribes in China’s biggest ever corruption scandal, a $US6billion smuggling racket centred on the southern port of Xiamen where Mr Lan was a deputy mayor.

But Lan Fu’s lawyer, Zhu Yongping, emphatically denied the kidnap story this week, insisting his client had given himself up voluntarily.

I won’t pretend to know what to make of this. But it won’t help win Chen any additional sympathy. I don’t see him as a traitor, but he’s left himself wide open to charges of being a liar.

The Discussion: 33 Comments

Meanwhile, I googled ‘chen yonglin’ and I got ‘Catholic Priest Believes Chen Yonglin’ from Epoch Times. I throw up my hands!

June 21, 2005 @ 11:54 am | Comment

The Epoch Times has gogglebombed this story. Their “stories” are always good for a laugh, in a creepy way.

June 21, 2005 @ 12:06 pm | Comment

Yes, I’m not a big fan of the Epoch Times. They’re a pretty sketchy publication and even though I cross referenced the story about Gao Rongrong, I still feel a bit edgy quoting them.

June 21, 2005 @ 12:19 pm | Comment

why we are off topic, this is in the Sydney Morning Herald:
“The Sydney office of independent newspaper The Epoch Times was evacuated yesterday after a worker opened a letter containing white powder and an abusive message. “It’s probably the first time this kind of terrorist act has been done in Australia to an independent media,” Epoch Times spokesman Kai Song said. Mr Song said an abusive message was scrawled in red Chinese characters on the back of an anti-communist flyer contained within the envelope. “They were swearing words and abusive languages,” Mr Song said, not wishing to divulge their exact meaning.

If it happened it is not right. But I want to know why I would be having doubts whether this really happened …

June 21, 2005 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

I’m having doubts, too. Another publicity stunt, I suspect.

June 21, 2005 @ 12:41 pm | Comment

Ah yes, over-inflated comments coming back to bite them in the ass.


June 21, 2005 @ 1:42 pm | Comment

Before everyone about turns and starts slagging off defector Chen, please let’s wait until we have something more substantial. We don’t know the half of it yet and his original reasons for not wanting to return to the motherland re supression against anyone dissenting from China’s wierd-ass view of the world and the CCP are valid.

I am the only one wondering why a man instigated in SIX BILLION smuugling operation, Lan Fu would give himself up voluntarily?

June 21, 2005 @ 1:47 pm | Comment

I’m not passing any judgements yet. I’m just concerned that this puts him on the defensive and gives his detractors ammunition against him.

June 21, 2005 @ 1:49 pm | Comment

exactly. The last thing Chen needs is reasons to attack his credibility – it seems to me that ad hominem attacks work too effectively in destroying the arguments of Chinese dissenters. Something that is unfortunate, in my opinion. There are enough facts to speak for themselves, but they get sidelined in debates about the dissenters. I fear Chen will be successfully lambasted as unreliable etc. when perhaps he does have very valid points.

June 21, 2005 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

don’t you also fear that he might be wholly unreliable?

June 21, 2005 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Yes, absolutely. I’ve been suspecting recently that he’s FLG. But my point still stands – if he isn’t wholly unreliable, ad hominem attacks still hold too much power for being fallacies of logic.

June 21, 2005 @ 2:39 pm | Comment

Also don’t forget that he’s a very scared guy, what with the future of him and his family at stake, and not to mention incurring the wrath of the CCP. They don’t take kindly to traitors nor losing face in front of the entire world as everyone who reads this site knows too well.

China is supposed to be the future in the 21st Century, the rising superpower, the economic miricle, the dragon awaking, etc. etc…..and some second tier diplomat suddenly defects and says he no longer wants to represent China or even go back there.

I would allow him the odd pecadillo personally.

June 21, 2005 @ 2:43 pm | Comment

Agreed; I’m not ready to write him off because of this.

June 21, 2005 @ 2:46 pm | Comment

KLS, do you feel tempted to write him off completely? If so, what do you focus on most?

June 21, 2005 @ 3:16 pm | Comment

I’m just waiting. very glad richard and others have brought together the early facts and opinions about the case, and glad this is continuing despite the latest facts not appearing to fit with the earlier glowing reports the guy received.

Laowai, in fact I was going to post earlier that, as others have said, there must be something pretty dodgy about him if he was turned down by the US and then the Australian authorities — surely they’d have jumped at the chance, maybe though they think he’s a fraud.

But then I remembered instances of western countries mistakenly turning away top and genuine wannabe soviet defectors during the cold war … so perhaps this is another western intelligence screw up.

who knows? I’m waiting…

June 21, 2005 @ 3:42 pm | Comment

If it happened it is not right. But I want to know why I would be having doubts whether this really happened …
Posted by: eswn

I want to know why I have doubts about if you really don’t know why you have doubts.

June 21, 2005 @ 6:11 pm | Comment

Let’s avoid the temptation to slide whichever way you’re already inclined towards. Chen might not be entirely for real. On the other hand, there are also possible reasons for Lan Fu’s lawyer to lie. Chen also hasn’t denied the kidnap story … he’s just backed away from announcing it to the wide world, and I can see plausible reasons for this, other than it being because it isn’t true. I’ll just wait to hear more.

June 21, 2005 @ 10:19 pm | Comment

Agreed. Let’s not get involved in the accusations and counter-accusations regarding Chen.

Chen has slipped out of the news recently but he was so high profile that we’re almost certainly going to learn more in the future.

June 22, 2005 @ 3:25 am | Comment

Let me get this right: these “serious doubts” are based on comments from the lawyer for Lan Fu, who is on death row. He has been sentenced to death but the sentence hasn’t been carried out yet. So if his client is facing a possible death sentence from the Communist party, is this lawyer likely to go against them and corroborate the story of a defector? Of course not! I think Chen Yonglin has made some hasty and panicked statements after his defection efforts were unexpectedly turned down by the Australians. He has repeated hearsay stories that were obviously circulating in this Embassy, and the Communist Party are now working on everyone they can to refute these extremely damaging allegations.

June 22, 2005 @ 3:28 am | Comment

Good points aboveMike.

Also don’t forget that the CCP have been totally humiliated by this affair. Who knows what resources they can enlist in their propaganda battle with Chen.

June 22, 2005 @ 6:02 am | Comment

Is the CCP really completely humiliated by this?

June 22, 2005 @ 6:49 am | Comment

I think it is laowai. As people have said on PD before, this is supposed to be China’s century, the place to be, the economic miricle, and one of their trusted diplomats defects?

Don’t you agree laowai? Perhaps I am being simplistic and I hope I’m not missing something here but, yes, that’s how I see it..

June 22, 2005 @ 7:52 am | Comment

Did somebody say something about the Chinese Century?


June 22, 2005 @ 10:27 am | Comment

we’ll only know how humiliated the CCP will be once we know more about the defector himself, how important he is, whether he really was spurned by the US and Aussie inteligence people.
at the moment at least it’s probably a bonus for the CCP: warning other potential defectors that the may fail to get asylum.

as for China’s century … could well be the CCP go around proclaiming this in China’s century too, but I’ve mostly heard the phrase from western commentators and businessmen.

the notion is built generally on the prospect for economic growth in China … and I don’t see oceans of foreign capital and investment flowing out of China because of Chen’s defection.

June 22, 2005 @ 12:14 pm | Comment

There is nothing outrageous about former Chinese diplomat, Mr. Chen Yonglin’s claims of 1,000 chinese spies and kidnapping in Australia, accoridng to a close friend of mine who works as a “special agent” in one of China security apparatus. This special agent revealed that CCP has over 30,000 spies and informants in Hong Kong prior to the takeover of Hong Kong in 1997. This agent added that the number of spies and informants in Australia could easily be more than 1,000 because various Chinese security agenices simply have too much money to spend and they could easily recruit Chinese students and residents in Australia through personal contacts, financial enticement and blackmails. It will be very difficult, if not impossible for any non-chinese to comprehend the working of CCP and its security apparatus. As for the kidnapping of Lan Fu’s son, it is the responsibility of the Australian Government to thoroughly investigate the claim since it involves the kidnappling of a resident legally residing in Australia by a foreign government.
Hong Kong Resident

June 28, 2005 @ 1:02 am | Comment

With all the negative comments and personal attacks being made against former Chinese diplomat, Mr. Chen Yonglin on this website recently, I would not be surprised if this website is hosted by CCP or financed by its dirty money!

June 28, 2005 @ 1:07 am | Comment

I agree with KKChan’s comment: “With all the negative comments and personal attacks being made against former Chinese diplomat, Mr. Chen Yonglin on this website recently, I would not be surprised if this website is hosted by CCP or financed by its dirty money!”

Confess it Peking Duck! You might as well be one of the Chinese spies Chen Yonglin mentioned ๐Ÿ™‚

You are as inhumane as the Chinese Communist. Normal people would sympathize with Chen although he was part of the CCP. However, at least Chen awakes his conscience.

Your share the same evil and crooked logic with the Chinese Communist! No matter how much you try to cover yourself up with a “sheep” outfit or “duck” outfit, you can’t hide your thought process originating from the evil Communist.

July 1, 2005 @ 4:56 pm | Comment

I don’t know who you guys are, but I do know you are out of your minds. I am a supporter of Chen and want to see him protected. Have you read my other posts about him?? This was an article about holes in his story, and I reported on it. Most of us agree it’s too soon to pass judgmentm, and that the holes in his story could be the result of panic on his part. I am trying to be fair and give the whole story, the good and the not-so-good.

Are you guys wheelers by any chance? I suspect you are.

July 1, 2005 @ 5:00 pm | Comment

Definately a case of taking a few of Richard’s comments way way out of context.

July 1, 2005 @ 11:09 pm | Comment

I guess the problem would be that there are some capable of only thinking in stark terms- if you don’t support someone unthinkingly but dare to inquire before offering such unconditional support, you are a stooge…
These are the morons who parrot the scientific ‘fact’ that Mao is 70% right without asking how such numbers are derived, or how valid it is. These are people (I suppose ironically enough given their ‘justification’ for such criticism) who need a monolithic CCP to tell them how they should think and save their time for more pressing pursuits such Counterstrike.

July 2, 2005 @ 7:13 pm | Comment

Lan Fu’s lawyer, Zhu Yongping is a scammer. Why would Lan Fu, who returned to China from Australia, do that knowing that he would be sentenced to death?… Would you go back?

As for Chen Yonglin, I would be watching my back, kidnaping and killing off defectors is one way keeping defections to a minimum.

July 29, 2005 @ 9:55 am | Comment

Hey Duck, I’ve visited your web site before, and I know you are for real. I can also tell you those who are accusing you of being CCP spies are just out of their Falun Gong minds.

Yes, they are propably Falun Gong spies, or Epoch Times operatives who’s came out of the closet and admitted to be the mouth piece of the Falun Dafa Association of NY.

See? I can make up smack too.

August 8, 2005 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

Thanks Bobby, they love to call me names. Sticks and stones…

August 8, 2005 @ 2:00 pm | Comment

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