A security adviser to an Australian prime minister says he warned a Chinese-Australian writer not to travel to China before the blogger and critic of China's Communist Party was detained on arrival at a Chinese airport in January.

John Garnaut was commissioned in 2016 to write a report on Chinese influence on Australian politics, leading to laws in 2018 banning covert foreign political interference.

Garnaut told Australian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview broadcast on Monday that he advised writer Yang Hengjun not to travel to China after Yang revealed he had been questioned by a Chinese official in Sydney about Garnaut's investigation.

Yang did not take Garnaut's advice and flew to China, where he was detained on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities endangering China's national security.