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Australian MP says he and colleague barred entry to China

In this July 10, 2009, file photo, Chinese paramilitary police practice during a break from patrol in Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang province. A group of U.S. lawmakers has urged the Trump administration to impose sanctions including asset freezes and visa bans on Chinese officials and companies allegedly tied to a stifling security crackdown and the mass internment of ethnic minority Muslims in camps in a far western region.

In this July 10, 2009, file photo, Chinese paramilitary police practice during a break from patrol in Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang province. A group of U.S. lawmakers has urged the Trump administration to impose sanctions including asset freezes and visa bans on Chinese officials and companies allegedly tied to a stifling security crackdown and the mass internment of ethnic minority Muslims in camps in a far western region.   | Photo Credit: AP

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Sen. James Paterson said he and Rep. Andrew Hastie were due to take part in a study tour next month in Beijing organized by China Matters, an Australia-based think-tank. He said the Chinese Embassy in Canberra informed China Matters on Friday that the pair would not be allowed to enter the country.

An outspoken Australian parliamentarian said that he and a colleague have been barred entry to China for a study trip, a development he said was concerning.

Sen. James Paterson said he and Rep. Andrew Hastie were due to take part in a study tour next month in Beijing organized by China Matters, an Australia-based think-tank. He said the Chinese Embassy in Canberra informed China Matters on Friday that the pair would not be allowed to enter the country.

Mr. Paterson has spoken out about human rights abuses against minority Muslim Uighurs in China Xinjiang region and the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, while Mr. Hastie in August was rebuked by Beijing after comparing the West handling of China rise to the failure to contain Nazi Germany.

In this file image from undated video footage run by China's CCTV via AP Video, young Muslims read from official Chinese language textbooks in classrooms at the Hotan Vocational Education and Training Center in Hotan, Xinjiang, northwest China.

In this file image from undated video footage run by China's CCTV via AP Video, young Muslims read from official Chinese language textbooks in classrooms at the Hotan Vocational Education and Training Center in Hotan, Xinjiang, northwest China.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

It is hard to conclude anything other than our criticisms of the Chinese Communist Party has resulted in us not being welcome, Mr. Paterson told on Saturday.

It is concerning China feels that people who have been publicly critical of the Chinese Communist Party are not welcome to visit and learn from China,he added.

The Chinese Embassy in Australia issued a statement saying he Chinese people do not welcome those who make unwarranted attacks, want only (to) exert pressure on China, challenge China’s sovereignty, disrespect China’s dignity and undermine mutual trust between China and Australia

As long as the people concerned genuinely repent and redress their mistakes, view China with objectivity and reason, respect China’s system and mode of development chosen by the Chinese people, the door of dialogue and exchanges will always remain open,the embassy spokesperson said.

Resource-rich Australia relies on China for one-third of its export earnings, but relations have been frosty with accusations of the Chinese Communist Party meddling in Australia democratic system.

Mr. Paterson, a member of the conservative Liberal Party representing Victoria, denied the Complex relationship with China had hit a nadir.

If it really value Australia relationship with China. There are very positive aspects but there are difficult aspects too because we do have different value systems,he said.

Both backbenchers so the things we say are not necessarily the views of the government and that clear,he said.

Mr. Paterson said it was unlikely the study tour could be rescheduled.

It is disappointing because it would have been an opportunity for good-faith dialogue,he said. won be discouraged or deterred from speaking out on these issues.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 7:44:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/australian-mp-says-he-and-colleague-barred-entry-to-china/article29997458.ece

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