China’s deputy ambassador blasted Australia for banning Huawei in a new attack accusing the government of illegal and immoral conduct.
Australia was the first country to ban the Chinese communications giant from its 5G network in 2018, the move being a key turning point in the deterioration of diplomatic relations.
Wang Xining, who is China’s deputy chief of mission in Australia, asked why intelligence forces had the “courage” to claim Huawei posed a threat.
“Australia has colluded with the United States in a very unethical, illegal and immoral crackdown on Chinese companies,” he told the National Press Club on Wednesday.
Mr. Wang said Australia was among the Western countries with a strong tradition of listening and “searching other people’s homes”.
He said if Australia believes in a barbaric model of devouring others or being devoured, it should be honest.
“Don’t try to pretend you are morally high,” the senior diplomat said.
“Huawei Australia has suffered greatly as a result of the unethical acts of your government.”
The deputy ambassador said he saw no obstacle to resuming normal China-Australia relations if Canberra stopped interfering in Beijing’s affairs.
Australia has strongly criticized the human rights violations that have been documented against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne condemned restrictions on religious freedom, mass surveillance, extrajudicial detention, forced labor and sterilization, but refrained from sanctions.
In addressing the issue, Mr. Wang referred to a Chinese science fiction film about aliens invading earth and putting two billion people in Australia to use as food.
“There is a scenario where people have gotten really mean in Australia, because there are two billion people here,” he said.
“So consider placing every Australian in Xinjiang, which is the same size as the land in Queensland and has a vast occupation of the desert. The matter is much more sophisticated in Xinjiang.”
Australia has a population similar to the Chinese region.
In another sign, Beijing would retain its muscular approach to criticism, Wang said the Chinese people see themselves as hard-working cattle, like the ox – the zodiac sign of 2021.
“We love to share our yoke with all of our partners to overcome the hardships caused by COVID-19 and get through this difficult time,” he said.
“But at the same time, China is not a cow. I don’t think anyone should want to milk China when it’s in its prime and plot to bring it down at the end.
“We are therefore open to collaboration and cooperation, but we will be very strong in defending our national interest.”
He said the Australian media oversimplified Chinese politics and lacked a truthful, objective or sophisticated understanding of the country.
But he also expressed sympathy for Australian correspondents who left China after pressure from security forces.
“We will continue to discuss and find a solution for this.”
This is the first time since the mid-1970s that no Australian media company has had a presence in China.