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article imageOp-Ed: The interview that never happened — China denies diplomatic mess

By Paul Wallis     Jul 15, 2014 in World
Sydney - In China’s leading tabloid, Global Times, an editorial described Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop as a “complete fool” and referred to Australia’s convict past. The editorial was almost a typical barroom conversation.
Now China officially says Ms. Bishop didn’t make the remarks at all.
Baffled by this information is Fairfax Media, which conducted the interview and published it verbatim in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively and also covered the Global Times editorial.
Also interested is the guy who did the interview, John Garnaut:
... However, late on Tuesday night, on the eve of China’s highest-ranking general arriving to meet Australia’s top brass and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that Ms Bishop said any of those offending remarks at all.
Garnaut provides a recording of the interview and text.
The editorial angle
It may surprise the Global Times to learn that Australians can continue to lead normal lives after the revelation that one of our politicians, let alone a senior minister, is considered a complete fool. This overall idea has been around for a while, and ongoing research in to this subject over the last 113 years since Federation is looking very promising, expected to deliver findings at any moment, or at least every 3 years.
It may further surprise the Global Times to learn that Australia is quite able to ignore impolite, backward, and insulting assertions from people we’ve never heard of. This particularly applies to those who apparently haven’t bothered to note the passage of the last 200 years of Australian history.
We really couldn’t care less, particularly in view of the fact that other Chinese media didn’t consider Bishop’s dip-speak comments worthy of note, let alone an editorial. Xinhua, People’s Daily and South China Times were evidently happy to let the comments pass.
The Chinese government’s well-meaning attempt to devalue the Global Times’ epic of abuse is much appreciated in the spirit that it was made. Anyway, they’re basically right, in context- It might as well have never happened, for all the effect it will have on Chinese-Australian relations.
A bit of perspective: If China only has one self-accredited ignoramus in its media sector, China’s media is doing better than most.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Australia China relations, Chinese foreign ministry, Global times, Diplomacy
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