Chinese Government threatens Melbourne Sister City relationship in attempt to dictate Foreign Policy

The Chinese Government is once again seeking to strong brow Australia in an attempt to dictate to Australia Australian Foreign Policy and who Australia should and can invite to visit Australia.

The Chinese Government has threatened to cancel Melbourne’s Sister City relationship with Tianjin if Lord Mayor Robert Doyle does not intervene to stop the screening of a film about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer at the Town Hall today.

The Chinese Government has considerable power and is not afraid to exercise it by threatening bilateral trade and cultural relationships. In Russia for example the Dali Lama has been refused a visa to visit Russia due to undue Chinese pressure (Even though Tibetan Buddhism is one of Russia’s recognised religions) .

If they can strong arm Russia what hope is there that Australia will not bow to pressure? Last I knew Australia was a democratic sovereign nation and as such our foreign policy is independent from other nations. If the principle of maintaining independence over our sovereignty places at risk Melbourne’s Sister City relationship with Tianjin then so be it, let the Chinese Cookie crumble.

The Chinese Government has declared Rebiya Kadeer a terrorist (in the same league as the Dalai Lama – I had met the Dalai Lama in Melbourne back in 1992 and he did not seem to be a Terrorist to me) even though there is no such evidence that would warrant this charge

Australia’s Parliamentary Foreign Affair’s Chairman, Michael Danby, spoke out in support of Rebiya Kadeer right to visit Australia.

Michael Danby has been hard to contact and efforts to contact his office to discuss this matter has failed (due to ongoing staffing issues and his constant absence from his electoral office)

But in this instance we fully support his stance (if only he would push for more democratic and fair electoral reformsMichael Danby is a member of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters)