Two Australian Christian Entrepreneurs Detained in China

February 1, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: February 1, 2008 12:00 am

A large Australian environmental products company in China has been shut down by Chinese authorities due to their activities promoting Christianity.

The owners of the Enoch Group, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel and Eliza Ng, have been forbidden from leaving the country, and their assets of nearly 100 million yuan (US$13.92 million) were frozen.

The Ng's children have written to Australian Prime Minister to help rescue their parents. Mr. Ng has also appealed for international attention to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

Australian entrepreneurs Mr. and Mrs. Ng, who emigrated from Hong Kong, invested 30 million yuan ($4.18 million) in mainland China, and founded the Enoch Biological Science and Technology Co., Ltd. in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province. As a division of the Enoch Group, it mainly focuses on ecological agriculture and environmental protection.

On August 21, 2007, the Panyu Branch of the Guangzhou Industry and Commerce Administration Bureau (GICAB) sent over 100 law enforcement officers to surround the company's office and factories, and confiscated company assets including computers, office equipment, and exclusive company product formulas, rendering the company inoperable.

On September 13, 2007, the authorities froze the Ng's assets, including their personal assets. On September 22, they were barred from traveling to Hong Kong from mainland China.

The Ngs were held under house arrest from October 12 to 25, charged with “illegal religious activities.”

On November 15, 2007, Mr. Ng published an “Open Letter to General Secretary Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao from Christian entrepreneur Daniel Ng.”

In his letter, Mr. Ng stated that the business culture he expressed is to purely teach their compatriots to be good people before they perform good deeds, and that the discs they burned along with the printed materials were all given away in public to their distributors. He also pointed out that by the principle of their faith they have never engaged in any behavior damaging to their motherland.

Mr. Ng asked that the investigation of his company be finished as soon as possible so that the company could resume normal operation. So far he has received no legal or written response.

Subsequently, on December 11, the Panyu Branch of the GICAB suspended the company's operating license, and fined the company 200,000 yuan ($27,845). On the same day, the Panyu court entrusted an auction company to conduct an auction of some of the company's office equipment and products.

Daniel Ng contacted the Australian Consulate in Guangzhou Province, in hopes that the Austraklian government might intervene on his behalf. However, Australian officials have disregarded the Ngs pleas for help, and have stated they are “unable to intervene in business disputes.” Australian officials have refused to investigate the allegations, and have disregarded the fact that Daniel and Eliza Ng are Australian citizens.

Joshua and Esther Ng, son and daughter of Daniel and Eliza Ng, wrote an open letter to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on December 26, 2007, in the hope that the Prime Minister could use his influence to convince Australian officials to intervene, and help release their parents from China.

Because the Chinese communist regime forbade them from leaving the country and froze their assets, Mr. and Mrs. Ng could not be reunited with their family in Hong Kong and Australia and now they have to rely on their son's assistance to meet daily living expenses.

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