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  • Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, Beijing, China, Sept. 9, 2020.

    Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, Beijing, China, Sept. 9, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 9 September 2020
Opinion

Reporters from Xinhua, China Media Group, and China News Service were arbitrarily raided by intelligence officials.

On Wednesday morning, China urged the Government of Australia to stop harassing and suppressing Chinese personnel under whatever pretext.

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"In late June, the Australian security intelligence agency raided and questioned four journalists from Xinhua News Agency, China Media Group, and China News Service... and seized their computers, cell-phones, and even tablets for kids and other electronic toys, alleging that they might have violated Australia's anti-foreign interference law," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

He also stressed that Chinese media outlets in Australia always strictly abide by local laws and regulations, work in an objective and fair manner, and have contributed immensely to promoting mutual understanding and friendly exchanges between the two peoples.

The Australian government's action disrupted Chinese media outlets' normal reporting activities and grossly violated the Chinese journalists' legitimate rights, Zhao stressed.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson added that such action has fully exposed the hypocrisy of the "freedom of the press" and so-called "respect and protection of human rights" self-proclaimed by some Australians.

China has made "solemn representations to Australia on this issue repeatedly," said the spokesperson, calling on the Australian side to stop its unreasonable action, guarantee the safety and legitimate rights of Chinese citizens, and refrain from doing anything that interferes in cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

So far, the Australian government has not returned all the seized items belonging to the Chinese journalists.

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