China lashes Australia over Uyghur plight, after Marise Payne claimed ‘credible evidence’ of abuse

Spread the love

Beijing’s mouthpiece has added to a war of words over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, claiming Aussie pollies are hiding behind free speech to racially target Chinese people.

Beijing’s mouthpiece has rubbished claims of a genocide in Xinjiang as “nonsense” a day after Marise Payne said there were “credible reports” of systematic abuse of Uyghur women.

The Foreign Minister on Thursday hit back at an extraordinary press conference held by the Chinese embassy that lashed Australia for its criticism of human rights abuses in China.

Ms Payne said Australia would continue to be “clear and consistent” in raising abuses in Xinjiang, where human rights groups estimate one million Uyghurs have been detained in internment camps.

But in an article published in Beijing’s mouthpiece Global Times on Friday, Australia was accused of spreading “groundless rumours” about Xinjiang.

“Their claim of ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang is also nonsense since local people have lived a peaceful and prosperous life, thanks to Xinjiang’s governance,” it read.

RELATED: Payne: ‘Credible reports’ of Uyghur abuse despite bizarre press conference

“Australia is condoning the instigation of hatred and hostility against Chinese people by letting these rumours spread unchecked.”

Australia has consistently avoided following the UK and Canada in declaring a genocide was underway in Xinjiang, but Ms Payne said there credible reports showed the “systematic abuse and torture of women” in the region.

“These are matters which we have raised at the highest level,” she said.

“Australia has always been very clear, not just in relation to (the abuse of Uyghurs), but in relation to matters of human rights more broadly.

“Where they are of concern to us we will make clear our views, no matter where they occur.”

Australian journalists were on Tuesday shown a video by Chinese officials – titled ‘Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land’ – which rejected claims the Uyghur population was targeted in the region.

Veteran Liberal backbencher Eric Abetz blasted the “sickening display of propaganda”, though Ms Payne preferred to laud the freedom of speech allowing Ambassador Cheng to hold the press conference.

The publication accused Australia’s political elite of hiding behind freedom of speech to “incite hatred” against individuals from China.

“Any defamation should be condemned and held accountable,” it said.

“Western elites try to use so-called freedom of speech to justify their badmouthing China, while at the same time, they claim that none of this is aimed at Chinese people and they are against racism.”

The Australia Uyghur Association’s Bahtiyar Bora said the Chinese embassy had declined a request for representatives to meet with Ambassador Cheng following the press conference.

“Tell us where are our loved ones, where are our friends,” he said in an interview with Sky News.

“Why they can’t (we) go back to our country and see our relations?”

The Chinese embassy did not respond to NCA NewsWire’s request for comment.

It comes as a prominent critic of Beijing based in Canberra says she has been subjected to an online “smear campaign” by Chinese trolls.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Vicky Xu, who regularly covers the plight of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, said online bots had been sharing explicit images falsely purporting to show her.

“Good morning. Photos being posted on Twitter and elsewhere are not my nudes. That woman is clearly not me. Not all Asian women look the same,” she wrote on Twitter.

“I suppose people behind the smear campaign can resort to deepfake etc. next.

“So for when that happens – not my sex tape either.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *