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Chinese FM Spokesperson: ASPI Is Nothing but "Rumor-Maker" and "Rumor-Spreader"

2020-10-24

At a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on October 23, Spokesperson Zhao Lijian answered a question about ASPI.

Journalist: According to a documentary published earlier by China Daily, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's so-called research on China was funded by the U.S. government and weapons manufacturers. This documentary drew a lot of attention from the Australian side. ASPI said in response that it is an independent research institute and that China wants to avoid criticism. What's your comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: These remarks of this so-called institute are senseless at all. It makes a living by creating all kinds of disinformation on China, but it got a slap in the face time and again by facts. Despite its claim of being an "independent research institute", the fact is, it is neither "independent" nor a "research" body, and it's highly unpopular in Australia.

ASPI is not "independent" as it has long been funded by U.S. defense and diplomatic authorities as well as arms manufacturers, which makes it full of anti-China ideology and keen to make and spread anti-China lies. It claims to be "independent" but is in fact money-driven. It is loyal to its sponsors and willing to be a vanguard and puppet for the U.S. anti-China forces. The Australian Financial Review also exposed the sponsors behind this "institute" and satirized it for being at the disposal of anti-China forces in the U.S. Australian Citizens Party also published an article to criticize this institution for cooperating with the U.S. and Australian intelligence communities to attack China under the pretext of academics and neutrality.

ASPI is not a "research" body because its reports on China are baseless, lacking academic value, and totally against professional ethics. Its views and clues are either from American NGOs that are against the trend of the times, or "eyewitness evidence" that cannot be proved or traced back. They even identified interactive maps as satellite photos. Let's take its report on so-called "genocide in Xinjiang" as an example. It ridiculously regards all buildings with exterior walls in Xinjiang as "detention centers", and all the 380 "detention centers" it identified are all civil institutions. For instance, the so-called "detention center" in Tulufan is in fact an administrative building, and the "detention center" in Kashi is a local high school. You may refer to Google Map or Baidu Map as these locations are all marked in those maps.

ASPI is highly unpopular because many Australians with vision consider it beneath contempt. Jocelyn Chey, Australia's former consul-general to Hong Kong, criticized ASPI's Clive Hamilton for lacking the basic knowledge of China's political system. Geoff Raby, former Australian ambassador to China, criticized ASPI as "very much the architect of the China threat theory in Australia". Bob Carr, former Australian foreign minister, accused ASPI of pumping out a "one-sided, pro-American view of the world".

This institute has long been notorious in China and a laughing stock for the world due to its behaviors of distorting facts and habitual lying. I believe you will all be sharp-eyed and jointly reject this "rumor-maker" and "rumor-spreader".

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