China's human rights record, for Tibetans, and millions more of its own people, is appalling, and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Australian coal sales is not reason enough to blind eye how China deals with pro-democracy advocates and dissenters. China's repressive regime and enthusiasm for human executions should have ruled it out of even being considered as a host city for the Olympic Games.
The Greens, more than any other political party in Australia, have been telling us this for years.
All pressure on China to shape up is positive, but it's still extremely strange to see anti-China boycotts, protests, civil disobedience and placard-waving-at-the-torch-relay being so heavily promoted by Rupert Murdoch's two biggest selling Australian newspapers.
From the Daily Telegraph today :
From Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun today :
Andrew Bolt is still to acknowledge that much of the philosophy he now eagerly espouses on China's human rights trampling has been a policy staple of The Greens, through leader Bob Brown.
As Anonymous Lefty points out, Murdoch newspapers also recently championed another policy staple of The Greens.
Here's how the Howard government dealt with China on human rights :
....June 28th, 2005...the Federal Government has come under fire for failing to question Chinese officials about claims that Chinese agents have persecuted political dissidents in Australia.
According to the report, at an annual and closed "human rights dialogue" on Monday, Australian officials did not raise allegations that the Chinese Government had persecuted
...the Foreign Affairs Department official who led the talks, said it was "not the forum" for tackling the allegations.
The report stated that the failure to raise the claims have fuelled accusations that Australia is taking a "softly softly" approach on human rights to keep good relations with China.
....yesterday reports emerged that Australia had refused to join "secret" US-led talks to discuss China's expanding role in the world, for fear of offending China.
Bob Brown from the Greens party accused the Australian Government of being cowardly.
Despite claims by Boltoids and desperate Liberals that Kevin Rudd would cower before China, he appears to be willing to tell China their human rights record is bogus, that Australia won't be bullied, and that our resources are not completely for sale :
....Mr Rudd said his job "as Prime Minister is to defend the Australian national interest and the Australian national economic interest, and I make no apologies for that while I'm here or elsewhere in the world".
Kevin Rudd has warned the Chinese Government he will "defend the Australian national interest" amid speculation that China is planning a stockmarket raid on resources giant BHP Billiton.
As Australian mining industry doyen Hugh Morgan warned China's move on BHP would "misfire" if the strategy was designed to secure assets for the resource-hungry nation, the Prime Minister made it clear in Beijing he would ensure all investments and takeovers of consequence in Australia would be examined.
Mr Rudd pointed to China's tough restrictions on foreign investment, and offered no sign of changes to Australia's foreign investment rules, which have prevented Chinese expansion into Australian interests.
"Australia is an open market when it comes to foreign investment and we have a history of depending on foreign investment," he said, adding: "We have always had the proper regulations to examine and advise on projects of consequence."
Rudd is going to lose a big chunk of his overwhelming support from the Australian public if he even appears to be backing down in his dealings with China in the weeks and months ahead.
Such pressure on China, particularly if the leaders of Australia, France and the US boycott the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, will be vital in letting them know they can't be a part of the larger democratic world when they block proper elections and brutalise their own people and think they should not have to answer for it.
Rupert Murdoch lost about a billion dollars and a decade trying to sew up China's vast TV audience, and failed to nail it, and the Chinese government is making life difficult again by refusing to let Murdoch's MySpace snare a large, independent and more profitable share of China's social networking market.
Murdoch's newspapers are going to hammer China all the way to the Olympics.