Asia-Pacific

Scott Morrison wins Chinese media praise for defence of Gladys Liu

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An opinion piece published in Chinese media has praised Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his support of embattled Liberal MP Gladys Liu.

Chinese media has praised Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his defence of Liberal MP Gladys Liu in the face what it is calling “paranoid hysteria” driven by racism.

The Global Times – regarded as a key mouthpiece for China’s Communist Party - has published a searing opinion piece over the embattled MP’s political controversy.

It has labelled Mr Morrison’s staunch support for Ms Liu a “decent gesture” - for calling out scrutiny of the member for Chisholm as “casting a smear on Chinese Australians”.

The Member for Chisholm Gladys Liu is congratulated by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Parliament House in Canberra.
The Member for Chisholm Gladys Liu is congratulated by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Parliament House in Canberra.
AAP

“The target of this ferocious attack was not Gladys Liu herself, but China,” the opinion piece said.

“The actions have provoked a new wave of paranoid hysteria among China-threat conspiracy theories."

The piece, written by Professor Cheng Hong of the East China Normal University’s Australian Studies Center, labelled those who have attacked Ms Liu “bloodthirsty anti-China hawks.’

The Hong Kong-born MP has been under mounting pressure over alleged links to groups with ties to China’s communist party since an interview with Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

In the interview, she failed to recall her past allegiances to an organisation with ties to China’s communist party  - later admitting to holding an honorary position with the Guangdong Overseas Exchange Association.

The Global Times’ opinion piece accused those who have pursued the member for Chisholm over the alleged links as being driven by “sinophobia”.

“Cold War combatants have sounded the alarm once against on China as an evil menace to Australia’s political sovereignty and national independence,” the opinion piece reads.

“Linkage with any organisation or individual with Chinese connections is misinterpreted as a threat to Australia’s interest and has created a Sinophobia among the public and inside political circles.”

Ms Liu has continued to resist calls to provide an explanation to parliament over her situation – but in a statement declared she is conducting an audit of any past ties to community groups.

"I do not wish my name to be used in any of these associations and I ask them to stop using my name," she said. 

Mr Morrison has labelled calls by Labor for the MP to provide the parliamentary explanation as having “grubby undertones” - but Labor has rejected this assertion.

“Morrison justification of Liu is not without partisan motive, but for the 1.2 million Chinese Australians who have been subject to unjust suspicion and bigotry, such remarks are significant,” the opinion piece reads.

Professor Hong accused anti-Chinese attitudes in Australia of being against the country’s national interests.

“The demonisation of China, Australia’s largest economic partner, is irrational and irresponsible,” the opinion piece reads.

It said Australia should resist supporting the United States in their trade-war against China, citing Mr Morrison’s upcoming trip to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday.

“Will Canberra fall for the heinous trap and serve as Washington's legionnaire in the Asia-Pacific, while the Trump administration espouses its America First policy?” 

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