Australian minister heightens security in China

Australia's defense minister says he left his delegation's laptop computers and cellphones behind before flying to mainland China in order to protecting the confidentiality of government communications.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported Wednesday that Defense Minister Stephen Smith took extraordinary precautions against Chinese espionage by leaving computers and phones in Hong Kong before flying to Beijing for a goodwill visit. His staff were given fresh phones in China with new numbers.

Smith declined to tell Australian Broadcasting Corp. television from Beijing whether he had been hacked on any previous visit to China. But he said he had taken such security measures before.