Australian agents raid Chinese journalists' residences, seize computers 'in violation of legitimate rights': source

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/8 19:56:17

China Australia Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Staff from the Australian intelligence agency recently raided the residences of Chinese journalists in Australia, and questioned them, seized their computers and smartphones, and asked them not to report the incident, a source close to the matter told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Such behavior severely infringed on the legitimate rights of Chinese journalists, and the incident exposed Australia's hypocrisy in upholding so-called "freedom of the press," experts said. 

Australia flagrantly infringed on the legitimate rights and interests of journalists from Chinese media and institutions in Australia in the name of a possible violation of Australia's anti-foreign interference law, seriously disrupting the normal and people-to-people exchanges between China and Australia, poisoning relations, the source said, noting that it was a serious political incident.

No matter how hard Australia tries to cover it up, it cannot conceal its hypocrisy and double standards in practicing its so-called freedom of the press, observers said. 

Freedom of the press has become political correctness for Australian authorities. When they spread fake information, smear and attack other countries, they call it "freedom of the press," but when they see information they don't want to see, they choose to crack down for political purposes, experts said.  

Chinese journalists in Australia strictly comply with Australian laws and have good professional conduct. Like journalists from other countries, they have an attachment for Australia, make friends with Australian people, and work hard to improve their understanding of the country and its people, according to the source. 

And their reports are based entirely on publicly accessible information and statements from the interviewees, which has nothing to do with interference in Australia's internal affairs and undermining Australia's national security.

The Australian government's hypocrisy on "press freedom" has been seen through by its journalists. In the past 20 years, Australia has passed more than 60 rules restricting "press freedom."

Australia's major media outlets launched a joint campaign on October 21, 2019 to protest government restrictions on press freedom, by blacking out copy on front pages. 

Australian authorities have not been satisfied with only extending their black hands to domestic media, and have blatantly raided the residences of Chinese journalists in Australia, regardless of the basic norms of international relations and China-Australia relations, analysts said. 

Analysts said what Australia did was not just driven by Australia's traditional ideological bias, but also showed that it's a follower of "Uncle Sam."

Australia intended to pin unwarranted charges on the Chinese media. Such a despicable political calculation will come to nothing, experts said.

The brutal and barbaric acts of Australian authorities against Chinese journalists were contrary to "freedom of the press," revealing the ghost of McCarthyism, experts said, while urging anti-China forces in Australia to put down their obsession.

If Australia continues on its wrong path of anti-China and does not step back, it would backfire, expert warned.

The "white terror" against Chinese citizens and organizations will not suppress China's righteous spirit, and the "chilling effect" will not stop the voice of justice from the international community, expert said.

China-Australia relations hit a new low in recent days when Australia hyped the case of CGTN's Australian anchor Cheng Lei. 

On Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that Cheng is suspected of engaging in activities that have endangered China's national security. The case is now under investigation.

Australia is waging an intensifying espionage offensive against China - sending agents to China to spy, gather intelligence and recruit assets, instigating defection among Chinese nationals, spying on Chinese students and organizations in Australia, feeding fake news to media to hype up the "China espionage theory" and even in early years attempting to install wiretaps in the Chinese Embassy in Canberra, the Global Times reported in June, citing a source with a Chinese law-enforcement agency. 

Multiple Australian espionage cases uncovered by Chinese law-enforcement agencies showed that Australia is a veteran in spying against other countries and precisely "the thief who is crying stop the thief" as it steps up infiltration, spying and technological theft operations against China, the source told the Global Times.  

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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