On Friday, the Chinese Ambassador to Australia visited the headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in Sydney, urging taxpayer-funded media organizations to adopt a more Beijing-friendly story.
According to the Chinese embassy, Xiao has been greeted by top ABC news figures, including Gavin Fang, deputy director of ABC News, and Lisa Whitby, director of national and international editorial departments. Website..
Xiao hopes that ABC will “take full advantage of its unique benefits” as a strong and influential mainstream media agency that “more rational and objectively” reports on China-Australia relations. rice field.
The Chinese ambassador also praised ABC as a “witness and recorder” for exchanges between China and Australia and urged national broadcasters to “actively contribute to strengthen mutual understanding.”
In response, Deputy Director Fan said ABC was “ready to make positive efforts” to strengthen the dialogue, and relations between Australia and China have always been one of ABC’s news coverage priorities. Said. Fang added that Australians “want to have a more comprehensive and deeper understanding of China.”
The Epoch Times contacted ABC for comment, but did not receive a response in time for the release.
ABC was one of the first media agencies in the western world to set up a bureau in China.
However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officially Censored ABC website On August 22, 2018, it was alleged to have violated China’s Internet rules. Censorship took place after the then Turnbull government blocked Huawei, China’s largest private company, from participating in Australia’s 5G network deployment over national security concerns.
Beijing denied that censorship of the ABC website was politically motivated, but did not explain how ABC violated Internet regulations.
Ambassador to challenge human rights
Xiao’s visit to ABC took place the day before he gave a speech at the University of Technology Sydney and demanded a “reset” of economic cooperation between Australia and China.
Protesters stood up and questioned Beijing’s treatment of people in Tibet, Hong Kong, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, interrupting their speech six times.
“You are shameful,” a protester accused the Chinese Communist Party of genocide against the Uighur community in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. “How about freedom of speech?”
“Freedom of speech is different from absolute freedom. There is no such thing as absolute freedom in this world. Freedom is within the rule of law,” Xiao said.
Drew Pavrow, leader of the Democratic Alliance, one of the protesters, said Friday that Xiao should not be given a platform to promote the story of Beijing.
Pavlow called the speech a “full publicity whitewashing event.”
“We wouldn’t have been allowed to talk to the Chinese ambassador,” he told The Epoch Times.
When asked about two Australian citizens currently detained in China, Yang Hengjun and Cheng Lei, the Chinese ambassador said they did not think they should be released.
Xiao also defended Beijing’s detention of Uighurs, stating that it was about “state integrity,” “preventing separatism,” and “war on terrorism.”
“This is a good example. Tasmania is part of Australia and no one should try it,” he said.
Xiao’s involvement begins with Australia’s centre-left Labor government seeking to adopt a more “respectful” tone to the Chinese Communist Party.
Attempt to change public opinion
As a result of China’s economic retaliation against Australia and the treatment of COVID-19, the Chinese ambassador has pushed the story of a more Beijing-friendly media against the backdrop of growing criticism of CCP among Australians.
according to Lowy Institute Poll In 2021, only 1% of Australians believe Australia should support Beijing’s administration, and nearly two-thirds see China under the Chinese administration as a security threat. With an increase of 22 percentage points from 2020, only 34% consider China as an economic partner. Compared to 55 percent in 2020.
Meanwhile, Chinese experts are calling for Beijing’s tactics to confuse the Communist Party with the Chinese people.
Professor Miles Yu, a former Pompeo adviser on strategies related to China, said on September 1 that “anyone who has lived in China will soon conclude that the interests of the party and the people are not the same. “.
“For example, people want freedom, but they are rejected by national security excuses.”
“The Chinese Communist Party silenced and tied hands, but claimed that they represented those who were taken hostage. These are the exact features of a fraudulent government.”
Angela Bright contributed to this report.