Center-right government and Labor opposition stopped independent Senator Rex Patrick’s action to denounce CCP crimes and move the 2022 Olympics away from China.
by Marco Respinti
Mr. Rex Patrick is a senator in the Australian Senate representing the state of South Australia since 2017. He is an Independent, while both the Parliament and the federal Government in Canberra are controlled by the center-right “Coalition” between the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia. The Australian Labor Party remains in the opposition.
Inspired by and following the model of similar parliamentary motions passed by the House of Commons of Canada on February 22 and the Parliament of the Netherlands on February 25, on March 15, 2021 Senator Patrick proposed a motion aimed at defining “genocide” the systematic crimes committed by the CCP regime against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, most of whom Muslim, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), which its non-Han inhabitants call East Turkestan.
Placed on the Senate’s notice paper for 15 March, his motion “agrees that the PRC’s treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang constitutes the crime of genocide,” and “calls on: the PRC to immediately end torture and abuse in detention centres; abolish its system of mass internment camps, house arrest and forced labour; cease all coercive population control measures; and end the persecution of Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China.” It also calls “the Australian Government to urge the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Olympic Games from Beijing,” as well “to undertake that no ministers or senior officials will attend the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing,” joining the worldwide movement which is pushing in this direction.
But the “Coalition” as well as Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not seem inclined to follow this path.
It is true that Australian Foreign Minister, Ms. Marise Payne, also from the Liberal Party, repeatedly stated she felt strongly about the matter. In early February, a spokeswoman for her expressed “significant concerns” over human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Commenting a BBC documentary showing the staggering situation of XUAR, the spokeswoman said : “These latest reports of systematic torture and abuse of women are deeply disturbing and raise serious questions regarding the treatment of Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.” (Some of the footage for that BBC documentary was courtesy of Bitter Winter, taken from our exclusive video from inside one of dreadful transformation through education camps, that the CCP still continue to define as “training school” and which in fact are prisons.)
Ms. Payne added to The Guardian Australia: “We are now seeing across the international spectrum countries coming out and declaring what is happening in Xinjiang is genocide, and Australia needs to play a part in this.” But she did not respond to the same journal’s questions whether Australia was considering labelling China’s actions as genocide. On the use of the word “genocide”, a very challenging one, the Minister told Mr. Kieran Gilbert of Sky News on March 1: “We have a slightly different approach to that turn of phrase. And I do not mean this in a pedantic or a semantic way, but both the UK and Canada have different mechanisms by which to make such a declaration, as indeed does the United States. But it’s something which we are examining closely.”
Payne reaffirmed Australia’s call for China to allow the UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, “to have appropriate access to Xinjiang.” But while different approaches are followed, different mechanisms are considered, and things are examined, the inhabitants of XUAR suffer for the only reason of being Uyghur and Muslim, and a strange consensus blocked Senator’ Patrick important motion of March 15. At the end of the day, the only one happy here was the CCP.