Standing firm against ugly dictatorships is everyone’s duty. I, therefore, make no apology for the exchange between Mr Chiu and myself yesterday.
Mr Chiu appeared before a Senate Committee. His submission’s opening line was “Australian politics is too white”. His concern was clearly about identity politics of colour/race and not of values, beliefs and character. Criticism of a dictatorship that holds one million people of an ethnic minority in concentration camps and unapologetically commits a wide range of human rights abuses has nothing to do with race and everything to do with values. He was willing to criticise Australia on the basis of colour but not condemn China on the basis of values.
I have been accused of “demanding proof” of Mr Chiu’s loyalty. The Hansard proves this to be a falsehood. Let the record speak:
Mr Chiu: As I said previously, I support and believe in the universality of human rights. I don't support the Communist Party but I don't believe that it's helpful to get into a political game of denouncements.
Senator ABETZ: So you can't condemn it?
Mr Chiu: I think my statement was quite clear about how I don't support the Communist Party and I don't support what it does.
Senator ABETZ: There's a difference between not supporting something and actively condemning a regime that engages in forced organ harvesting and having a million Uighers in concentration camps—the list goes on, and all we have is this limp statement that we don't support it.
At no point did I question the loyalty of anyone. I did not even mention the word “loyalty”. Yet Mr Chiu’s twisted and distorted narrative is blatantly false. Unfortunately, some now have parroted this false narrative without checking the record.
I was questioned by another witness as to whether I had ever been asked “to be loyal to Australia because you were born in Germany?” Numerous times throughout my life I have been asked this question. I am still questioned about it to this day especially by left-wing operatives.
Further on, in the Hansard I say:
That is why, might I add, that in nearly every single interview that I do unequivocally condemning the Chinese Communist Party I stress that this is not a condemnation of the Chinese people—because I believe that they are just as freedom loving as every other human being on the planet—but that I am condemning the regime under which they suffer, just as much as not all Germans were Nazis, or all Russians communists, or all Italians part of the Mafioso or Vietnamese part of the triads. But, as German-born, can I say that I have no difficulty in unequivocally saying that the Nazi regime deserved to be condemned. I'm just concerned that some of our witnesses have great difficulty in condemning a regime that has been responsible for millions of deaths; incarceration of millions; forced organ harvesting; illegal land grabs; ripping up of an international—UN sanctioned, even—agreement between the UK and China in relation to Hong Kong; and the list goes on. I'm just concerned that in this great freedom-loving country of Australia, that has adopted all of us as part of its citizenry, we are unable to fully celebrate the great freedoms we have and to condemn some of the backgrounds from which we come—not courtesy of the people but courtesy of the ugly regimes that were inflicted over them.”
If Mr Chiu, a prominent Chinese-Australian from a “progressive” think tank and whose submission was made in consultation with China Matters, which “strives to advance sound China policy”, cannot bring himself to denounce a regime that continually and systematically commits human rights abuses, there is no hope for the Chinese diaspora in Australia to speak out.
This example of prominent Chinese-Australians not speaking out for the rest of the Chinese-Australian community was a direct point made in a confidential submission to the inquiry. They are afraid to speak out because of reprisals within their community and the possibility of family members back home being targeted by the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship. Chinese-Australians look for leadership by prominent Chinese-Australians but often receive meaningless platitudes instead.
For all the hot air from Mr Chiu at the hearing and his hit piece in the media, his limp platitudinous statements are cold comfort for the Chinese-Australian diaspora, the millions of Uighers, and all the others, languishing in detention and oppressed.
SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ
LIBERAL SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
27th April 2020
Abetz downloads Coronavirus Contact App
Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has downloaded the Coronavirus Contact App after careful consideration and being satisfied with the extensive privacy safeguards.
“Whilst expressing my instinctive reluctance to accept government monitoring devices I’ve been persuaded on balance that the protections are so strong and the monitoring so minimal that the app’s design is a well-constructed, balanced response to the pandemic.
“What is more, this tool will enable us to resume normal activities more quickly than otherwise.
“Having a strong commitment to small government with limited interference in our daily lives I was initially concerned about the prospects of a monitoring app. But given the voluntary nature of the app, the capacity to delete the app at any time, its automatic deletion of data after 21 days and the exceptionally restricted access to its information I am convinced it will be a worthwhile tool to assist our monitoring of the virus and our return to a normal lifestyle.
“The conclusion I’ve come to is an ‘on balance’ decision and I believe it to be in all our individual and national interests. I encourage all Tasmanians to download the app – it is highly protected from a privacy point of view and has the capacity to save lives, jobs and our economy by potentially ushering in an earlier lifting of the current restrictions.”
Labor Leader Anthony Albanese’s belated decision to expel John Setka from the Labor Party, following my call for him to do so over the weekend, is welcome but in order to be consistent, Mr Albanese must take action against other union heavies including Michael Ravbar.
New Labor Leader Anthony Albanese must take action to expel John Setka from the Labor Party following the most recent criminal allegations against him.
Former Employment Minister Eric Abetz has welcomed news that Israel Folau will launch action in the Fair Work Commission.
Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has referred the termination of Israel Folau to the Fair Work Ombudsman and to the Australian Human Rights Commission for consideration and potential investigation.
A re-elected Coalition Government will not match Bill Shorten and Labor’s promise to gift $25 million to the AFL for a Tasmanian AFL Team, Tasmanian Liberal Senators and candidates announced today.