Australian Uighurs are calling on the Chinese ambassador to Australia to meet with them to explain why their loved ones have gone missing.
The democratic world must stand up for basic rights. We dont want another genocide.
During the press conference, Australian media were shown five videos with one entitled Xinjiang is a wonderful land.
When performing sound checks prior to the event, officials repeatedly said into the microphone in Mandarin, Xinjiang is good.
One Uighur woman in a video said she had regarded terrorists as heroes and held extremist views, but after going to a vocational education camp her family notice she was more outgoing and angelic.
The charm offensive on the Australian media came after months of growing international condemnation over the treatment of Uighurs in the far-western province, with a BBC report earlier this year airing first-hand accounts of systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture in the detention camps.
The Biden administration is considering a joint boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in response to Chinas egregious human rights violations, while the United Nations is holding negotiations with China on gaining unfettered access to the region to verify reports that Uighurs are being persecuted. The US and Canada have also declared that Chinas treatment of Uighurs was genocide.
Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen
Australia and New Zealand last month backed sanctions imposed by the United States, Britain, Canada and the European Union on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang amid growing international concern over Beijings treatment of Uighurs.
Mr Cheng said China was disappointed by Australias comments supporting the sanctions, saying nations should know Beijing will respond to any provocative actions that meddle in its internal affairs. He suggested that Beijing would respond to any country, including Australia, which followed the others in imposing sanctions.
Any people or any country should not have any illusion that China would swallow the bitter pill of interfering or meddling in Chinas internal affairs and trying to put so-called pressures on China, he said. We will not provoke, but if we are provoked, we will respond in kind.
Start your day informed
Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Heralds newsletter here, The Ages here, Brisbane Timeshere, and WAtodays here.
Anthony is foreign affairs and national security correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.