China blocks visit by outspoken Australian lawmakers for study trip




By Lidia Kelly

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Two Australian lawmakers known for their outspoken criticism of the Chinese regime said they had been barred from visiting the country next month because of their "frankness about the Chinese Communist Party".

The two conservative members of parliament, Andrew Hastie and James Paterson, were to take part in a study tour organized by China Matters, an Australia-based think-tank, which describes itself as working to advance "sound" China policy.

"We look forward to a time when the Chinese government realizes it has nothing to fear from honest discussion and the free exchange of ideas," Hastie and Paterson said in a joint statement late on Friday.

China Matters said in a separate statement the Chinese embassy in Canberra had informed them that "at this time Mr Hastie and Senator Paterson are not welcome on a China Matters study tour to Beijing."

In August, China condemned Hastie for his opinion piece in Australian newspapers in which he warned about China's influence, comparing Beijing's rise to threat from Nazi Germany.

Hastie is not a minister but is an influential member of Australia's ruling Liberal-National coalition, and is the chair of parliament's intelligence and security committee, which is privy to classified information.

Australia's overall relations with China, its most important trading partner, have deteriorated in recent years amid accusations that China is meddling in domestic affairs. Canberra also fears China is seeking undue influence in the Pacific region.

China Matters said the goal of the study tours organized for Australian politicians and business executives is to "facilitate informal discussion with citizens of the People's Republic of China (PRC)".



(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Kim Coghill)

COMMENTS

More Related News

NATO is finally talking about China, and there are 3 big problems it has to address
NATO is finally talking about China, and there are 3 big problems it has to address

Many of NATO's longstanding problems were under discussion at its leaders summit this week, but the agenda included a relatively new challenge: China.

U.S., China Move Closer to Trade Deal Despite Harsh Rhetoric
U.S., China Move Closer to Trade Deal Despite Harsh Rhetoric

(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The U.S. and China are moving closer to agreeing on the amount of tariffs that would be rolled back in a phase-one trade deal despite tensions over Hong Kong and Xinjiang, people familiar

Sasse Slams Bloomberg over China Comments:
Sasse Slams Bloomberg over China Comments: 'The Kind of Stupid You Can't Script'

Senator Ben Sasse on Tuesday tore into Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, harshly criticizing the former New York City mayor's claim that Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is "not a dictator."Bloomberg argued in a September interview that China is moving coal power plants away from cities because the Communist Party "wants to stay in power in China, and they listen to the public.""When the public says I can't breathe the air, Xi Jinping is not a dictator," the billionaire businessman said. "He has to satisfy his constituents or he's not going to survive.""You're not going to have a revolution. No government survives...

Trump signals trade deal with China could be delayed until after 2020 election
Trump signals trade deal with China could be delayed until after 2020 election

Trump signals China trade deal talks could drag on for some time, perhaps until after the 2020 election.

Trump says China trade deal might have to wait for 2020 election
Trump says China trade deal might have to wait for 2020 election

U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade agreement with China might have to wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November 2020, denting hopes of a quick resolution to a dispute that has weighed on the world economy. "I have no deadline, no. In some ways, I think I think it's better

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America