Craig Kelly MP, Llew O’Brien MP and Senator Lisa Singh, from the Liberal, National and Labor parties respectively, were due to visit several cities in mainland China and Hong Kong as part of a law enforcement inquiry – but the trip was cancelled by the Chinese government in an apparent attempt to put pressure on Australian politicians.
There was initially speculation that the trip was shut down by China due to the federal government shelving an extradition treaty with Beijing, but now it is believed that the move was a retaliation against Australia signing a petition urging China to examine reports of torture against human rights lawyers.
It’s shocking that China believes it can prevent the “very important” investigations that were due to be carried out by the MPs, all of whom sit on the law enforcement committee, because they don’t want to face up to allegations of human rights abuses.
What’s more shocking is that just last month, the Chinese government was accused of trying to intimidate Chinese-Australians after hauling off an academic to an interrogation room after he tried to return to Australia from a work trip.
This isn’t the first time that China has tried to intimidate and pressure Australia when things haven’t gone their way.
Earlier this month they accused Australians of being racist and “xenophobic” for voicing concerns about the buy-up of Newcastle Port by Chinese state-owned mining company Yancoal.
Their country’s newspapers have attacked Australia as a nation of convicts “tinged with barbarism” and prone to committing “uncivilized acts”.
It’s time to tell our politicians that we won’t be bullied by China. Click here to send an email to the Treasurer.