China has hit back at calls to release a detained Australian suffering health complications, saying it's a nation that abides by the rule of law.
Writer Yang Hengjun fears he may die in a Chinese prison without proper medical attention for a troubling kidney condition.
Dr Yang faced a closed trial in Beijing in May 2021 and continues to await a verdict.
The judgment has again been deferred to October 9 as the Australian government continues to lobby for his just treatment and transparency over the case.
Asked about allegations of his mistreatment, the Chinese foreign ministry said judicial authorities "try cases in strict accordance with the law".
"They fully protect the legal rights of the individual concerned and respect and safeguard Australia's consular rights including the right to visit," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
A spokeswoman for Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed deep concerns about the ongoing delays with the case.
She said the government has consistently lobbied for Dr Yang to be reunited with his family.
Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham said there was no transparency from China about why he's been detained, what the charges are and what he's been convicted of.
"It's completely unacceptable," he told Sky News on Tuesday.
"There was just a one-day trial that he had, for which the Australian ambassador was denied access to witness that trial, and now we have these very concerning reports in relation to his health situation.
"We do need to see real pressure applied from the government on Beijing to try to get a breakthrough."
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's next opportunity to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping will be at the G20 summit in India in September.
Australian Associated Press
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