Pictured: China’s consul-general in Rio de Janeiro, Li Yang
A Chinese diplomat has called for an international probe into Canberra’s sex scandals in a bizarre response to Australia’s push for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19.
Parliament House has been plagued by sexual assault allegations since February involving a series of staffers and high-ranking officials, promoting a wave of nationwide protests by Australians calling for an end to gendered violence.
On Thursday, China’s consul-general in Rio de Janeiro Li Yang took a thinly veiled swipe at the Australian government via Twitter, calling on parliamentarians to stand aside for ‘international investigations’ into women’s human rights.
‘The cases of sexual crimes happened in the Australian parliament are shocking!’ he wrote, posting two photos of women protesting outside parliament in Canberra.
‘This relates to the protection of women’s human rights. Australia should accept unrestricted international investigations into those cases.’
On Thursday, Li Yang wrote on Twitter than the sex scandals plaguing parliament are ‘shocking’ (pictured)
At the centre of the sex scandals is former attorney-general Christian Porter who vehemently denies raping a 16-year-old in 1988
At the centre of the sex scandals is former attorney-general Christian Porter who vehemently denies raping a 16-year-old in 1988, and ex Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins who claims she was raped by a colleague in the defence minister’s office.
In response to the allegations and a series of subsequent claims relating to sexual harassment and unfair treatment of women in politics, Australians protested in 40 national locations in March against sexism and misogyny in the work place.
The tweet is believed to be a response to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s unwavering demands for a probe into the coronavirus outbreak, concealed as concern for the welfare of Australian women, according to China experts.
‘Who knew? Officials in the Chinese Communist Party have a sense of humour,’ said academic and author Clive Hamilton replied, according to The Daily Telegraph.
‘I wonder if the women being raped in Xinjiang’s concentration camps agree?’
‘The last thing that a Chinese official like Li Yang would enable is any kind of open investigation into Chinese government actions,’ Michael Shoebridge of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said.
Mr Porter has employed Company Giles, the same law firm that represented alleged parliament house rape victim Brittany Higgins (pictured)
‘Whether on its actions in the early days the pandemic, into any corruption case involving senior officials and CCP members, or into its mass human rights abuses or arbitrary detentions.’
He said it is difficult to take Beijing’s calls for other nations to be transparent when the highly controlled authoritarian state ‘values opacity, repression and information control in the name of “state security”‘.
The Prime Minister’s calls for a Covid origin investigation calls resulted in protests by Beijing, which imposed a series of sanctions on Australian exports in 2020.
Covid-19 is believed to have initially spread in the capital of China’s Hubei province Wuhan in late 2019.
Pictured: Marches and protests in front of the Parliament House in Canberra on Monday March 15
In the aftermath of the initial outbreak Beijing officials tried desperately to cover-up the growing number of deaths in Hubei Province by silencing anyone who tried to warn about the respiratory disease.
Since then China has attempted to shift the narrative though its ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomats and state-owned media mouthpieces.
Chinese officials have pointed the finger at a number of other countries including Bangladesh, the US, Greece, India, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, and Serbia.
Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: ‘The tracing of the virus origin will most likely involve multiple countries and localities.’
Diplomatic relations between Australia and China have deteriorated significantly during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: Xi Jinping (left) and Scott Morrison (right)
The tweet also comes months after a Chinese diplomat posted a doctored image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child (pictured)
Earlier this year, Beijing conceded to international pressured and allowed a highly controlled investigation into the origins of Covid-19, but the details have not been determined.
Dominic Dwyer, an Australian microbiologist who was part of the investigation, said Chinese official did not share data on 174 early Covid cases dating back to December 2019.
The tweet also comes months after a Chinese diplomat posted a doctored image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child, and amid growing concerns about China’s alleged human rights abuses against its Uighyur Muslim population in the Xinjiang province.
In February, the BBC reported an ‘oppressive system of mass surveillance, detention, indoctrination, and even forced sterilisation’ in the region against the ethnic minority group, along with systemic rape of women in Chinese concentration camps.
China said the possibility that the virus leaked from a lab such as the Wuhan Institute of Virology (pictured), saying such a leak is ‘extremely unlikely’ and should not be investigated further