- Two Australian universities say they will review ties to Chinese tech companies implicated in rights abuses in the semi-autonomous region
- The Chinese embassy in Australia has pushed back against the ABC's Four Corners programme, saying it misled audiences with 'absurd logic'
China's embassy to Australia has accused the national broadcaster of "lies, distortion and bias" over a report on Xinjiang, in which two Australian universities revealed they would review ties to Chinese tech companies implicated in rights abuses in the semi-autonomous region.
The embassy on Tuesday said the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had misled audiences with "absurd logic" in an episode of investigative news programme Four Corners that spoke with Australian Uygurs with family detained in Xinjiang, detailed links between Australian institutions and the region's surveillance apparatus, and outlined new evidence of Uygurs being forced into factory work.
The episode, which aired on Monday, interviewed Australian Uygurs who described family members being funnelled from detention camps into forced labour at textile factories, and revealed that retailers in Australia including Target, Cotton On, Ikea and H&M had sourced cotton in Xinjiang.
Why Indonesia's muted response to China's Xinjiang Uygur internment camps is in stark contrast to anger over Rohingya crisis
It also revealed the University of Technology Sydney had launched a review of a A$10 million (US$7 million) partnership with CETC, the developer of an app used to track the ethnic Muslim minority, while Perth-based Curtin University was re-examining research procedures after an associate professor was found to have helped develop artificial intelligence to better identify Chinese ethnic minorities.
It is obvious that the producers and reporters of this programme are … utterly cold-blooded on the well-being of the people in XinjiangChina's embassy in Australia
United Nations experts and human rights activists say at least 1 million Uygurs and other Muslims are being held in detention camps in Xinjiang, while China describes them as training centres used to help stamp out extremism and teach people new skills.
"It is obvious that the producers and reporters of this programme are utterly ignorant of China, utterly disrespect the rule of law, (and are) utterly cold-blooded on the well-being of the people in Xinjiang," a spokesperson said in a statement posted on the Chinese embassy's website. "It is an extremely unprofessional and unethical production, nothing but despicable and deplorable."
"Counterterrorism and deradicalisation measures" introduced by authorities had the "wholehearted support and applause of the Chinese people" and had ensured against terrorist attacks, the statement said.
Beijing has rendered Xinjiang as barren as a moonscapeJohn Fitzgerald, Swinburne University
John Fitzgerald, a China scholar at Swinburne University in Melbourne, said: "By locking up close to half of all young adults, separating families, closing markets, and demolishing mosques, Beijing has rendered Xinjiang as barren as a moonscape. Is this a sustainable way of managing cultural diversity and religious belief in China?"
John Blaxland, a professor of international security and intelligence studies at the Australian National University, said controversy over Xinjiang in Australia could become a source of growing tensions with China.
Malaysian minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa under fire for calling Xinjiang Uygur camp a 'training institution' on China visit
"They currently have strained relations with Britain, Canada, the United States and elsewhere, and now also, it appears, with Australia," he said. "But we should keep in mind that China doesn't trade with us because it likes our liberal Western democracy. "It does so because it's a good deal and if it wants to hold back on our goods at the docks then that also affects Chinese traders, it affects China's reputation and it reinforces impulses for businesses to relocate and open up in other places, notably in parts of Southeast and South Asia."
On Monday, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she was "deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the use of detention facilities" and that China had blocked consular access to dual citizens in the region.
In February, Nurgul Sawut, an Uygur rights advocate in Australia, said he had documented at least 17 cases of Australian residents currently in detention in Xinjiang.
Australia was among the 22 signatories of a letter condemning "mass arbitrary detentions and related violations" in Xinjiang which was sent to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights last week.
Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.查看原始文章