ABC Net Item, 10 August 2022, with this title “Chinese diplomat Wang Xining’s National Press Club address blames Canberra for fractured relations with Beijing”
Wang Xining is not a fire-breathing ideologue. In fact, China’s Deputy Head of Mission has a reputation in Canberra as a bit of a charmer — smooth, cerebral and cultured.
But when the senior diplomat took to the podium at the National Press Club yesterday, he had a message to deliver, and he did so faithfully.
It’s not me. It’s you.
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Wang started by alluding to the looming pachyderm in the room; the increasingly poisonous and hostile ties between Australia and China.
The Deputy Head of Mission put it in marital terms. A diplomatic relationship “takes concerted determination and joint effort to make it thrive”, Wang observed.
“A married couple knows this!” he declared, raising slightly strained chuckles in the room.
But, he observed sorrowfully, “while a rift between husband and wife hurts one family, a rift between two countries hurts millions.”
It’s not clear which country is the husband and which is the wife in this formulation, but Wang made one thing crystal clear: China was the wronged spouse, and Australia the guilty party.
The main wellspring of this bitterness? The Federal Government’s push for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.