China has laughed off Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s concerns about Beijing’s human rights issues, and questioned Australia’s own human rights performance, secret US diplomatic cables obtained by Wikileaks has suggested.
Gillard highlighted the annual Australia-China human rights dialogue as the centrepiece of her government’s efforts to enhance respect for human rights on the eve of her current visit to Beijing.
“I will raise human rights issues in China in the way that Australia regularly raises human rights issues with China,” The Age quoted her as saying on Monday.
However, confidential briefings provided by Australian diplomats to their American counterparts reveal that Australia’s human rights dialogue with China has been characterised by persistent Chinese denials of rights abuses and “boilerplate” responses to concerns raised by Australia.
It has also been revealed that China has always dismissed Australian human rights concerns and have been “sharp and aggressive” in resisting the discussion of human rights abuses in Tibet.
In 2007 the Australian embassy in Beijing told American diplomats that China “stuck to boilerplate responses” and the “not unfriendly” atmosphere of the dialogue immediately disappeared once attempts were made to raise the subject of Tibet.
“The Chinese delegation leader, Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei, showed annoyance when Australia raised religious freedom issues related to Tibet and Xinjiang and expressed strong dissatisfaction with Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s June 15  meeting with the Dalai Lama,” the document said.
Australian diplomats, however, believe that Chinese side employed two distinct tactics: “First, [Assistant Foreign Minister] and other Chinese officials would employ the ‘you-don’t-understand-China laugh’ and dismiss Australian information as inaccurate. Second, the Chinese delegation would frequently try to run down the clock with long monologues.”
Before her arrival in China on Monday night, Gillard said she would raise human rights issues with the Chinese government “in the context of seeking China’s assurance that the freedoms that are guaranteed for its people in its constitution are being observed and that China is not taking a backward step on human rights”.
- China’s Man-Made Island Airbase Nearly Complete
- China Threatens US Bomber Flying Near South Korea
- Trump Gets Trade Win at G20 Meet
- Trump's watered down Immigration Law Banned by Hawaii judges is a Chinese plot
- China Expanding Nuke Arsenal, Top General Warns