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Chen Yonglin: Beijing Believes Australia Can Be Bought
When Chen Yonglin, the former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) diplomat seeking asylum in Australia, first announced his intention to defect, he told the world about the close relationship between the CCP and the Australian government, and stressed that the CCP operates a 1,000 person spy network in Australia. Since then the media has been trying to follow up on this sensitive topic, but Chen has remained silent. On June 22nd Chen held a press conference during which he began to elaborate on his knowledge of the dealings between the two governments. What follows are excerpts of Chen speaking at the conference.
China Seeks To Make Australia Part of Its “Great Border Area”
“In February of 2005, Zhou Wenzhong, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, held a meeting at the Chinese Embassy in Australia with the ambassadors and consuls general to Australia and New Zealand, and the general consuls and the diplomats in charge of political affairs. I accompanied Qiu Shaofang, the general consul of the Chinese consulate in Sidney, to attend the meeting.
“The main purpose of the meeting was to implement the decision made during the 10th Meeting of the Chinese Diplomats in Foreign Counties held in mid-August of 2004, at the suggestion of Hu Jintao, the General Secretary of the CCP, to make Australia part of the “Great Border Area” of China. They asked each consulate to provide its point of view and suggestions for the next step.
“During the meeting, Zhou Wenzhong shared information about the CCP Central Government’s strategic planning toward Australia and the United States, which is related to the close ties between these two countries. The CCP wants to break through the military union of the two countries and turn Australia into a second France. It hopes to shape Australia into a country that dares to say “no” to the United States.
“China first started crafting its plan to reshape Australia when it learned that Australia was planning to give up ties with Asia in favor of stronger ties with the United States. At that time the free trade negotiations between Australia and the United States were at a climax and Australia had high hopes of being included in the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Meanwhile, Australia had a big court case pending with Guangdong Province in China, concerning natural gas, which was making it less and less popular with the Chinese government.
“In March of 2003 Tang Jaixuan, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Australia and questioned the Australian government on certain issues, including issues related to Falun Gong. On the day before Tang Jiaxuan arrived in Canberra, Alexander Downer, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, signed an article banning Falun Gong practitioners from setting up signs and banners or using loud speakers to protest in front of the Chinese embassy. Since then Downer has continued to sign similar articles every month, which has made Tang Jiaxuan very happy.
“That same year, China initiated the celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the establishment of the relationship between China and Australia. The Chinese government sent many groups to Australia to promote Chinese culture and political ideology.
“In 2003 when Hu Jintao visited Australia he received unprecedented treatment in Canberra. Bob Brown, a congressmen belonging to the Greens- the opposition party- was not allowed to enter the building where congress was being held. This was done to prevent the attendance of dissidents and Falun Gong practitioners that might have shown up as the congressman’s guests. Hu Jintao was delighted and commented to his staff that this was a sign that the Australian government could be influenced.
“In 2005 when Wu Bangguo visited Australia, he requested the same treatment— not to see or hear any protestors or dissidents. Next Year, China plans to send Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to visit Australia, and in 2007 Hu Jintao will be in Australia to attend the World Economic Summit.”
The CCP Thinks The Australian Government Can Be Bought
“Over the past several years, Chinese officials have successfully built close personal relationships with their Australian counterparts, all for the purpose of establishing leverage in the Australian government. The CCP is convinced that the Australian government can be coerced to follow its aims through application of economic pressures and incentives. It plans to use economic pressure to force Australia to cave on political and human rights issues.
“The dialogue on human rights between China and Australia over the past several years was merely a show put on to appease the Australian public. In fact, there was no progress made. When high-ranking Australian officials visited China, they did not raise any human right issues. I knew what was said during their visits, because a summary news brief of each visit was sent to the consulate.”
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Helped the CCP to Wriggle Out of a Difficult Lawsuit
“Due to the nature of my work as a diplomat, I have witnessed many instances of secret dealing between the Chinese and Australian governments, and such knowledge has weighed heavily on my conscience. I know that the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Canberra share all of their information with each other. The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs even gives suggestions to the Chinese government on how to handle difficult political issues.
“For example, Zhang Cuiying, a Falun Gong practitioner, lodged a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New South Wales against the former Chinese president and the 6-10 Office for genocide, torture and crimes against humanity. Based on an article of the national amnesty code of Australia, the lawsuit was not handled by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but by a special substitute process. This greatly embarrassed the Chinese government and caused it much distress, because it did not want to have to face Falun Gong practitioners in open court proceedings.
“To help the CCP, the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade provided several solutions. Dr. Geoff Raby, Deputy Secretary of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, promised the Chinese government that when he visited China in March, 2005 that he would ask for the materials from the Supreme Court, cancel the lawsuit by the Falun Gong practitioners and put an end to the charges against the Chinese leader. Raby later regretted making this offer.
“The Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade offered another solution: to have the Chinese government send a representative to stand trial in place of the leader, and thus expedite the lawsuit. The Chinese government did not adopt this suggestion and instead decided to put pressure on the ministry, which resulted in the ministry’s cooperation in preparing many legal documents to assist the CCP.”
Chen ended the press conference with this comment: “I have witnessed too many secret deals between the Australian and Chinese governments. I am really concerned that I will be betrayed. Therefore, in case I should run into sudden misfortune, I have spoken my mind to the public.”
Please see Part I, ”Chinese Defector Tells of Government Plot” and Part II, ”Chen Yonglin Describes Abduction by Chinese Agents in Australia”.
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