18 July 2005

Images of Canberra - Falun Gong in Garema Place

| johnboy
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Olivia has sent in a shot of a confronting scene in Garema Place in civic today.

Falun Gong Protest in Garema Place

Got an image in, or of Canberra you want to share with the world? Email it to johnboy@the-riotact.com

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No favours from would-be defector – Piers Akerman
June 12, 2005

WANNABE Chinese defector Chen Yonglin is no Vladimir Petrov, despite claims to that status from the Chinese diplomat’s Australian supporters.

Nor are there any real parallels between the former Soviet Union of Stalin and the China of today as the Chen camp would have us believe.

Petrov was a genuine insider. He had worked deep inside the secret apparatus at the heart of the Soviet monster and knew who pulled the levers and how things operated.

When he was wooed into defecting, the seduction process was long and dangerous and he brought with him genuinely valuable information.

At the time of Petrov, Australia and the rest of the Western world was in a state of militant confrontation with the Soviet Union. We, and the rest of the west, were eagerly seeking out defectors and encouraging them to jump the fence, as the Soviet, with a lot less success, was attempting to do from its side of the Iron Curtain.

Though there was no shortage of ideologically driven supporters, including historian Manning Clark, few actually wanted to live in and experience the constant joy of the workers’ paradise. Funny, that.

By contrast, today we have the most amiable relations with Beijing. None but the truly looney can argue that it is not in Australia’s best interests to have the warmest relations with China.

Chen has nothing but extremely unreliable claims of Chinese espionage, because he acknowledges that he was not right up in the spy business.

At most, his connection with intelligence gathering lay in recording the identities and activities of members of the Falun Gong who demonstrated outside the Chinese consulate.

The Falun Gong, who believe that humans were brought to earth from outer space, are also not exactly what they might seem to be – touchy-feely people who look for enlightenment through exercise and meditation.

They are opposed to the Chinese Government and their ability to present some 10,000-15,000 demonstrators outside China’s leadership compound in April, 1999, certainly put the wind up the incumbent Chinese chiefs.

Chen and his claque of supporters seem to believe that the Australian Government should ignore the political and economic ties that will deliver an estimated $60 billion-plus in the next decade or so and fete this latest refugee.

Already, Chen’s child, the ultimate weapon in the armoury, has achieved a certain celebrity as her primary school classmates rush the media with tales of their love for their little mate.

But while Australia’s foreign policy and approach to human rights are not decided by trade deals, it is also not in our interest to go out of our way to promote those who want to embarrass significant trading partners.

Chen has done his cause little good by embracing the politics of Senator Bob Brown and the Greens. Indeed, his embrace of such fringe-dwellers counts for several strikes against what may otherwise be a reasonable claim for political asylum.

It is no accident that he emerged on the anniversary of the Tiananmen tragedy to make his point. Then there is the support the Greens have shown Falun Gong in the past, aided and abetted by the Labor Party, which sniffed the wind and tried to find a way to embarrass the Government, coming down on the side of trying to accommodate Chen’s desires. The ALP seems to have learnt nothing from its disastrous alliance with the Greens during the past election.

There is every reason for Australia to be on the side of the angels when it comes to human rights and ensuring that people are safe but nothing that has been said since Chen asked for political asylum beyond the wild mouthings of Bob Brown and Co lends weight to his assertions about what may happen were he to return to China.

He has made himself his own worst enemy by appearing to be a stooge of the Greens in their campaign against the Government and its immigration policies, rather than a genuine defector seeking refuge in the bosom of Australia.

Surely no one seriously concerned about the safety of his own family would have appeared at an anti-Chinese rally?

If you have serious apprehensions about your safety you go to the security authorities and talk to them about your needs.

The stunning pace of China’s development, currently the engine room of the global economy, and our relationship must not take second place to human rights but can anyone seriously argue that we sacrifice those sort of ties for Chen on the say-so of the Greens?

If he can’t leave, and he has pretty well ensured that he has burnt his bridges behind him, he should stop echoing the views of his Green mates, settle down and stop causing embarrassment.


I’d love to be a fly on the wall at our annual ‘Human Rights Dialogue’ sessions with China.
Has any journo yet tried to find out what transpires at these meetings, cosy or otherwise? I’ve seen nothing…

All sides of politics have been disgracefull in their china policies over the years.

And just last week the communist party was trotting out party central propoganda in support of the chinese government over the recent defectors.

You’d have thought the current regime unworthy of their ongoing loyalty but goes to show the comintern lives on.

Bob Brown has been very loud about china but seeing as he was very loud about Saddam Hussein until people started doing anything about Saddam you have to wonder if Bob isn’t just against trade in any form.

Then we have alexander downer’s disgracefull orders shutting down Falun Gong protests that upset the Chinese.

Those in parliament who have been willing to be honest about china are similarly drawn from all parts of the chamber, but are much rarer.

On another note PR can beat bullets in certain circumtances.

But, as Napoleon said, “When all else is equal, God is with the big battalions.”

I’m a right winger.

Just wanted to say that I’m here, not that I condone what china does or anything.

Bob Brown probably has the Guiness book of records for most scathing comment record for a number of issues, not just China’s human rights record, although as the bigwig of the Greenies, you’d 1/2 expect him to have said something scathing on human rights anyway.

The only people I’ve ever heard of winning without fighting is the Maori at Te-Papa, IMHO the Goon should take up the more traditional method of buying guns for themselves and shooting back.

May not be the best way of going about business but nothing screams ‘respect my human rights’ better than 7.62mm messages.

Where are the right-wingers Kimba (apart from yourself)? It’s ironic that the Federal politician most scathing of China’s human rights record is a Leftie – Bob Brown.

I have a lot of sympathy for the Falun Gong. China really needs to pull its head-in on human rights. Where are all the old Aussie communists and unionists who backed China as the dream State, when it comes to human rights today for China’s minorities?

It’s like Vietnam…all the lefties marched in favour of a ‘free’ Vietnam and now human rights are non-existent in Vietnam. Bob Dylan should have sung…”where have all the lefties gone….”

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