Sydney academic stopped from leaving China

A Sydney university professor has been stopped twice from leaving China.

Dr Chongyi Feng, a China studies academic at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), was halted at Guangzhou airport.

Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan said officials had contacted relatives of Dr Feng, who is an Australian permanent resident but a Chinese citizen.

It comes as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang concluded a five-day Australian visit.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp reported Dr Feng was stopped from boarding flights in Guangzhou on Friday and Saturday.

"UTS has been in regular contact Dr Feng, who has assured the university that he is fine," the university told the BBC in a statement.

"Although he is currently unable to leave China, for reasons we do not yet understand, he nonetheless has freedom of movement in China and freedom of communications."

Australian officials said they could not provide consular assistance because Dr Feng did not enter China on an Australian passport.

However, Mr Keenan said he would raise the matter with China.

"We'll continue to monitor the situation and remain in contact with Chinese authorities about it," he told reporters in Perth.

Reuters reported Dr Feng had been questioned over whether he had links to liberal intellectuals in China.