Monday, November 25, 2019

Australia ends human rights partnership with China

Australia ends human rights partnership with China

President Xi Jinping addresses the Australian Government in the House of Representatives at Parliament House

Australia's human rights partnership with China has been "quietly" suspended over Beijing's mass detention of Uighurs, its treatment of democracy protests in Hong Kong, and its banning of two Australian MPs critical of its actions.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says the Human Rights Technical Co-operation Program worth $7.4 million over three years, aimed at advancing human rights reform, has been suspended after more than two decades.
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The program was set up between DFAT, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs, The Australian reports on Monday.
The freeze comes amid controversy surrounding the barring of two Liberals, MP Andrew Hastie and senator James Paterson, who were due to travel to Beijing in December with Labor MP Matt Keogh as part of a study tour organised by think tank China Matters.
A file image of Liberal MP Andrew Hastie
MP Andrew Hastie doesn't regret his criticism as a China-Australia human rights partnership ends. Credit: AAP
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But Mr Hastie has no intention of scaling back his criticism of Chinese attempts to exert influence in Australia and human rights abuses against Uighurs in the country's western Xinjiang province.
"Senator James Paterson and I will not repent," Mr Hastie said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, it's been reported a trove of leaked Chinese documents reveals details of Chinese President Xi Jinping's clampdown on Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang.
The New York Times report says the papers show how Mr Xi gave a series of internal speeches to officials during and after a 2014 visit to Xinjiang following a stabbing attack by Uighur militants at a train station that killed 31 people.

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