China attacked Australia for considering the Magnitsky Act

Image from NSW Young Liberals

On 7 December 2020, the Communist Chinese government owned media, the Global Times criticised Australia for following the action of America of implementing the Magnitsky Act. The story titled Is Australia qualified to judge who violates human rights? can be read here.

The following are some key quotes:

“Shall we remind Australia that its immigration detention facilities have  been condemned on human rights grounds and have even been compared to concentration camps?”

“It is ludicrous for Canberra to care more about Beijing rather than its own affairs. It is raising the human rights banner on a pile of innocent Afghan civilians’ corpses.”

What is the Magnitsky Act?

The Magnitsky Act is a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress on 2016 and implemented since 2017. It authorizes the U.S. government to sanction foreign government officials implicated in human rights abuses anywhere in the world, by freezing their assets, and banning them from entering the US (source).

Image from Transend.org

According to an article on news.com.au, an Australian bipartisan parliamentary inquiry is about to recommend that the federal government implements laws which imitate the US Magnitsky Act, to grant the power to the Australian government to prohibit human rights abusers to enter or invest in Australia.

In the report of 7 December 2020, Federal parliament’s human rights subcommittee stated that the Australian government has not held Chinese nationals responsible for committing human rights violations accountable so far. This has put pressure on the government to face this issue seriously.

If this bill passed in the parliament, the individuals who will face the punitive consequences include any Chinese government officials who participated in activities that violated basic human rights, such as abusing the Uyghur minority, or brutalising pro-democracy Hong Kong people.

China’s violations of human rights, and its response when accused

As is the Chinese government’s typical response when facing the consequences of breaching human rights from any western country, it goes on the attack. There is no difference this time with its reaction to Australia. 

This editorial is another attack on Australia in recent days, after the Chinese foreign ministry official Zhao LiJian put up a fake picture the features an Australian soldier pointing a knife at an Afghan child’s throat. This “doctored” image has made many Australians furious. The Australian prime minister Morrison described the tweet is “repugnant”. He also demanded the Chinese government take it off Twitter and apologise (source).  

This latest editorial from Chinese government media shows their fear of taking consequences of their own actions of abusing human rights. Those government officials have been used to taking advantage of the leniency of western countries for far too many years. They have been using their power, stealing huge wealth from the Chinese people which they have hidden in western countries.

Current and future punitive actions on China

The leaders of the Chinese government realise they may lose their privilege of visiting, investing in, and even living in western countries after retirement. They use their power to abuse human rights in China while they and their family members enjoy the freedom and human rights in Western countries. This injustice will not last forever.  

On 7 December 2020, the United States imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials, vice-chairpersons of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), the top decision-making body of the Chinese legislature,  over their alleged role in the disqualification last month of four elected opposition legislators in the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong.

As a traditional ally of the United States, Australia government may not be far from taking similar actions.

Author: 文治武力

Editor: XO酱

Click here to ready more articles by Himalaya Australia.

Disclaimer: This article only represents the author’s view. Gnews is not responsible for any legal risks.

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