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Issue #1923      July 13, 2020


Keneally uses HK residents as political pawns

On 30th June, the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) legislature unanimously passed national security legislation, protecting the rights and interests of millions of Hong Kong (HK) residents, while also ensuring that the “one country, two systems” principle is upheld.

Earlier last month, almost three million Hong Kong residents signed a petition in support of the new legislation with The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (the largest body of Trade Unions in HK) also backing the new laws. The support for the new laws wasn’t just on paper, hundreds of thousands marched in support of the government.

However, you wouldn’t know it if you only followed the coverage of mainstream Western media, who presented the narrative of a popular uprising against the PRC, citing hundreds of thousands to millions of supporters partaking in the anti-communist campaign.

And now, in part of a continued effort to undermine China, Australia’s ruling class are developing a new scheme to provide a refuge for HK residents. One of the loudest voices in the room is Senator and Shadow Home Affairs Minister Kristina Keneally who, in a joint statement with Senator Penny Wong, is pressuring the Morrison government to “provide pathways to support” the nearly 17,000 HK residents in Australia holding temporary visas, noting that “no one should be involuntarily deported to Hong Kong if they don’t want to go back.” On Sky News, Keneally stated that Morrison needed to “act with urgency” and start working with “like-minded countries,” such as the UK, who have allegedly presented the Morrison government with a proposal for divvying up the responsibility of providing political asylum for HK residents.

It’s hard to believe that Keneally truly cares about the political rights of citizens from other nations. This is the very same Keneally, who only five months ago warned against migrants on temporary visas, stating we were becoming “an economy dependent on temporary migrants.” The very same Keneally, who only last year, stated that “over ninety per cent” of the 81,596 people who claimed asylum since July, 2014 were not “genuine refugees.” A statistic that doesn’t actually reflect the “genuineness” of a refugee, just those who were denied. The very same Keneally who has been calling out Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton for not being tougher on our borders.

While the ALP seem to be the most vocal, other political parties aren’t far behind. Morrison has stated he found “these events very concerning” and that the government was “prepared to step up and provide support.” The Greens, have also highlighted their support for the settlement of HK residents.

In fact, it seems that over the last few years there is little to no difference when it comes to refugee policies by the two major parties. One only has to look at the last year’s federal election when then opposition leader Bill Shorten stated that “on some parts of what the government’s policy is we now agree, […] the only argument is happening in the margins.” Emphasising that he believed “boat turn-backs work” and that the party as a whole was on the same page.

Thus, it seems that when it comes to war-torn countries, ruled by corrupt politicians or fascist dictators, conditions sometimes created with the help of Australian armed forces, the ALP and Coalition don’t believe we have the means, or that we should shoulder the responsibility, of providing asylum for those seeking refuge. This position however miraculously changes when the “political refugees” are those from socialist countries such as China or Venezuela.

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that when it comes to discrediting socialism, our two major political parties, whose track records on refugees can at best be described as lacking, are in concert. This “concern” for the political rights and interests of the residents of HK is nothing but an opportunistic ploy by both the ALP and Coalition. The history of ALP and LNP in attempting to subvert socialism has long been documented and the residents of HK are only the latest pawns in this saga.

Next article – Australia’s planned $270 billion expansion of its military

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