Friday 22nd of January 2021

abetz received terrible trolling due to his heritage... he now dishes out the same...

Why are the loyalties of Chinese-Australians questioned constantly in the public arena?


By YUN JIANG | On 16 October 2020

In my opening statement to the Senate Committee, I talked about the toxic environment for Chinese-Australians who engage in public policy debates right now. In particular, I mentioned that one of the reasons Chinese-Australians are choosing to remain silent is because they don’t want their loyalties to be questioned constantly in the public arena. 


I concluded my opening statement with “it is not fair to force them to take positions or political actions, such as critiquing Beijing, when similar requests are not made to other Australians”.

So it is extremely egregious that despite the concerns I raised, Senator Abetz chose to go down this exact road. This is an inquiry on issues facing diaspora communities in Australia. Yet instead of addressing the issues raised by the three witnesses, Senator Abetz proceeded to interrogate each of us on our views of the Chinese Communist Party, as some sort of loyalty test.

Senate Abetz, by his very questioning, demonstrated exactly the many points I have raised in my submission and my opening statement.

To me, this felt less like a public inquiry and more like a public witch-hunt. And the target is Chinese-Australians who are deemed not sufficiently critical enough of the Chinese Government.

Let’s be clear about this: similar requests were not made to Australians of other background or heritage. Other witnesses were not subject to the same interrogation. This is targeted purely at Chinese-Australians.

Senator Abetz, by his own admission, said he received terrible trolling due to his heritage. So it was disappointing that he subjected me to the same treatment.

It made me wonder why I was called to appear in the public hearing in the first place. It’s clear that my submission and my opening statement made no impression. Was I called to the public hearing just so I can be questioned about my views of the Chinese Communist Party, and implicitly, my loyalty to Australia?

This episode is just the latest demonstration of the difficulties Chinese-Australians have to face when they choose to engage in politics or public policy.


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selling outrage to the chinese...

A conservative Australian senator has refused to apologise after he caused a storm of outrage by demanding three Chinese-Australians publicly and unconditionally condemn “the Chinese Communist party dictatorship”.

With the witnesses before a Senate inquiry denouncing the “McCarthyist” tactics, and with the opposition Labor party likening it to a loyalty test based on ethnicity, the veteran Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz insisted his questioning had “nothing to do with race and everything to do with values”.

The episode comes at a time of increasing tensions in the relationship between Australia and China, its largest trading partner, while security agencies in Australia have intensified their investigations into foreign interference.

The Senate inquiry – which is investigating issues affecting diaspora communities in Australia – has heard evidence that members of some communities in Australia face pressure not to speak out, in part because of fears about potential retribution against family members still living overseas.



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