I HAVEN’T met a defector for years. Well, at least not an embassy official. But in the late 1980s my then partner, Linda Jaivin, and I were befriended by Wang Qunsheng, a pleasant if rather doctrinaire member of the Chinese embassy staff in Canberra.
Wang was always solicitous and perhaps a little bit too ready with ideological guidance. At the time I was a regular contributor to The Nineties, an international Chinese-language monthly based in Hong Kong. Carrying controversial commentaries and reports on politics, society and culture, The Nineties was much sought after, though banned, in China.