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ACFS president to Australian PM: Reject aggressive political posturing

By Zhang Xinfeng (People's Daily Online)    10:12, June 06, 2020

Robin Matthews, president of the Australia China Friendship Society Ltd (ACFS), has called for an urgent change in the attitude and behaviour of Australian politicians before further and devastating damage is done to Australia and its relationship with China, in a letter written to the Australian Prime Minister on May 29.

Directors and delegates from ACFS met via teleconference to attend its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday evening, May 27. Members expressed their views and reiterated that the current attitude of the Australian government does not represent the views of many Australian citizens. Matthews then issued the letter based on the views expressed by the members.

Matthews mentioned in the letter that the ACFS “views with concern the recent comments by you and other members of the Coalition parliamentary team which quite clearly point the finger of blame at China for its alleged ‘cover-up’ and failure to act promptly in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, recent reports from Italy, France and the United States suggest the virus was already present in their countries prior to this date, and patient zero is yet to be identified.”

“We hope the virus crisis will be resolved soon so everyone can resume their normal activities and we can again concentrate on promoting peace and understanding between our two countries”. Matthews noted, “Unfortunately the coronavirus has provided an opportunity for unscrupulous people to spread mistruths and fear and this should be condemned. Any misinformation should be challenged and called out for what it is – racism”.

Matthews pointed out that most of the statements and actions of Australian politicians (from all three major parties) go against Australia’s national interest in that they appear to go out of their way to insult a country that Australia has built a strong friendship with over a number of decades, adding that China and Australia matter to each other.

She further noted that the current attitude of the Australian government does not represent the views of many Australian citizens. “We wish for and promote a peaceful and harmonious relationship with our neighbours, and reject aggressive political posturing that threatens the peace of our region” . 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liu Ning, Bianji)

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