The Chinese embassy in Canberra should pray that audio and video of what transpired never appears online, writes Danielle Cave.
The News Lens
By: Danielle Cave
Shouting down a host country’s Indigenous welcome to the country ceremony is diplomacy gone mad. While this may not be the most detailed analytical description of what transpired in Perth on May 1 at the little-known Kimberley Process (a multilateral initiative combating the conflict diamond trade), adjectives like brazen, outlandish, disrespectful or uncouth, just don’t seem adequate.
What has been reported (in news and social media) is this: at the opening session of the Kimberley Process the Chinese delegation used their microphone to shout over the welcome to the country ceremony and the introduction for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was about to take the stage. The Chinese delegation disrupted the event to protest the attendance of a group from Taiwan who, as in previous years, was a “guest of the chair” (Australia). Following subsequent disruptions and objections later in the morning, by both Chinese and African delegates, the Chair withdraw the invitation to the Taiwanese, who then left. The event then resumed.
Beyond the initial drama, this international incident throws up a number of issues that deserve further consideration. [FULL STORY]