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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 97


Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (19:45): Tonight, I want to speak about communist China, its human rights abuses, its territorial expansion and concerns arising out of that which I have for my own country. I'm well aware that there are strong economic links between my electorate and China, but trade dollars should never make us blind to the loss of human rights, the loss of freedom or the loss of sovereignty. We need to acknowledge the fact that China has perpetrated and continues to perpetrate atrocities and oppression upon Tibetans and their political and spiritual leaders. The US was willing to call it out earlier this year, demanding the release of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the 11th Panchen Lama, who was abducted by the Chinese authorities and replaced by a fake Panchen Lama two decades ago. We should also call it out.

It is the Panchen Lama who selects the next Dalai Lama, and China's fake Panchen will ensure that the next Dalai Lama will be a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party. Likewise, earlier this year, Chinese authorities detained Roman Catholic Bishop, Guo Xijin, and replaced him with a bishop who is also a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party. A long line of Catholic bishops and priests have been arrested by Chinese authorities, many of whom have disappeared while in custody. An entire church was blown up in the city of Linfen. It was quite literally blown up earlier this year in a clear demonstration of the Chinese Communist Party's intolerance of religious freedom. We can also recall the internment of Falun Gong meditation practitioners and the subsequent allegations of organ harvesting of those prisoners. Just like they do with Tibet, China lays claim to Taiwan. It has imposed on our national carrier, Qantas, to recognise Taiwan as China on its flight schedules, when clearly it is not. Taiwan is Taiwan.

China's creeping territorial expansion into the South China Sea, or I should I say the West Philippine Sea, also needs to be contested. China promised those waters would not be militarised, yet they are now dotted with military bases on artificial islands created by China. China's investment in countries like Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and East Timor sets up debt traps for those countries, which they will only be able to service by giving up land or ports where future Chinese military bases can be established. These are countries right on our doorstep, yet little is said about that in the Australian political arena, where, sadly, China also has a creeping influence.

Chinese party sympathisers are actively involved in our nation's political system. China's Ministry of State Security is known to have sent agents to our shores to intimidate people in this country. The Chinese company Huawei is currently lobbying our members of parliament to allow it to run our nation's 5G network. Huawei has close links with the Chinese Communist Party and must report security information back to it. We should say no to Huawei. We should also have said no to a strategic port like Darwin falling into Chinese hands. The Chinese lessee, Landbridge, has extensive links with communist China's military apparatus. That link should now be terminated, given China's growing ambitions in the Asia Pacific. At some point, we must put aside fear of lost trade and assess the slow creep of Chinese influence and its ownership of our strategic assets, including farmland and agriculture businesses, given that those assets are being and will be geared to serve China's national interest, not our own.

China has reached back over centuries to lay historical claim to disputed territories. Professor Clive Hamilton in his book titled Silent Invasion points to the alarming and outrageous fake history being peddled by communist China, that China somehow discovered, mapped and settled Australia in the 1420s. We have to ask: what is China's end goal here? How far does China believe its borders extend? Should we not as a nation which believes in freedom, national sovereignty and human rights be standing up, saying that we condemn communist China's abuse of the rights and freedoms of those under its yoke; that we do not accept incursions into what should be free territories, like Tibet, Taiwan, the West Philippine Sea or Pacific island nations; and that we will not allow China to establish an economic or political beachhead on our own shores for some fanciful future claim on Australian territory?

Communist China's attacks on human rights and sovereignty are symptomatic of their lack of respect for and lack of belief in any kind of universal freedom. In Australia, we believe in freedom. We should stand up to any threats to freedom, both here in our own nation and around the world, even if those threats are posed by a trading partner like China.