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Some in Australia insist on banging the same old drum: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-04-17 21:13

A worrying trend is gaining momentum in Australia as the country's media are giving increasing coverage to political figures and academics airing far-right, even racist views.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has just offered the latest example of this in a program that it claimed was intended to expose so-called Chinese interference in Australian affairs.

Four Corners, ABC's current affairs program, rolled out a lengthy report last week in a bid to provide new evidence of China's interference in Australian media, universities and political process. Anyone without bias could easily judge it was not only full of prejudice against China but also sought to whip up anti-China sentiment in Australian society.

This is not the first time that the program has vented its spleen on China. An article introducing the program on the ABC website did not hesitate to boast that a similar report in 2017 helped Australia pass laws to ban foreign interference in its domestic politics.

People cannot help but ask whether the ABC's hidden agenda is to try and halt all Australian interaction with China. Whatever its aim, its controversial program has done a disservice to the healthy development of China-Australia ties.

As a country thousands of kilometers away from Australia, China has repeatedly said it has no intention to interfere in Australian politics. With the two economies being highly complementary, both China and Australia have benefited from their trade ties.

Not to mention that Australian Chinese, who account for about 4 percent of the country's population, have contributed to developing the economy and enriching its diversified culture. Any media report that fails to show this big picture of relations in an objective and fair way clearly has its own agenda.

With the federal election in Australia, scheduled for May, drawing near, some Australian media outlets and politicians may be trying to seek political gains by singing the same old refrain of China interference again. Rhetoric vilifying China has unfortunately been a feature of some Australian politicians keen to appeal to certain voters.

Such an evil wind is part of a broader tendency in which minority groups, including the Australian Muslims, have been frequently targeted. Admittedly, this ill trend, if unchecked, will tarnish Australia's image as a multi-cultural society.

This time as before, the Australian media's attacks against China are just baseless rumors. Such ploys, which are intended to smear China's image, do not stand up to scrutiny. Instead of making such irresponsible unwarranted accusations, the Australian media should seek to contribute to mutual trust and friendship as that is in the best interests of the two countries.

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