The Chinese living here are dictating that Australians must respect the Motherland China and they refer to themselves as ‘THE ELITE’
Leading figures in Australia’s Chinese population have called on fellow community members to come together to help “safeguard the sovereign rights of China” over growing military tensions in the South China Sea.
Days before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull makes his first official visit to Beijing, the ABC has learned key figures from Australia’s Chinese community have recently held crisis talks to discuss its concerns.
A forum held in Sydney last Saturday was billed as a chance to “clarify facts and standardise understanding” about the maritime territorial dispute to Australia’s north.
An official news report of the gathering, written in Chinese and translated for the ABC’s AM program, said the aims of convening the forum “were to unify thoughts through exchanges, to bring together forces which could protect the core interests of the Chinese nation, to make a call for justice to Australian political circles, so that it can make appropriate preparations for a possible ‘crisis situation'”.
According to the official account, a representative of the Australian Action Committee for Protecting Peace and Justice, pointed out that the South China Sea issue involves the Chinese people’s core interests, and the “South China Sea arbitration” will in no way change the fact that the various islands of the South China Sea and nearby sea areas belong to China.
“Overseas Chinese should have a clear and sober understanding of this and come together to jointly make a call for justice in joint response to the motherland,” the representative was quoted as saying.
“This is the correct attitude which we the overseas Chinese elite should uphold,” he added.
About 60 people attended the gathering and the ABC has tried unsuccessfully to contact the various organisations represented.
Regional specialist Dr Carlyle Thayer from the University of New South Wales said he was not surprised at the language and tone of the meeting.
“Forums of this nature that take an absolutist hyper-nationalistic line run the risk of inflaming community tensions,” Dr Thayer warned.
“However it should be noted that the Chinese leaders stressed their commitment to a peaceful expression of their views.”
Dr Thayer said the small gathering did not indicate that the South China Sea was as yet a “hot button” issue for the larger Chinese community in Australia, but believed the Turnbull Government would “come under increased pressure and lobbying” from the Chinese community to tone down its remarks on the issue.
The Chinese Embassy in Canberra has not responded to questions about whether any of its officials participated in the forum.