Chinese Premier Li Qiang was NOT welcome by Tibetans across Australia

16th to 18th June, 2024 – Chinese Premier Li Qiang visited Australia, the second visit by Chinese leadership following the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in March, 2024.

Li Qiang visited Adelaide where he met the Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Trade Minister Don Farrell.

Li Qiang then travelled to Canberra to meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at Parliament House on 17 June 2024. Premier Qiang was welcomed with a 19 gun-salute – customary reception for heads of states.

He finished his visit in Perth, where the focus was on business and visiting Chinese-owned mines.

The message was strong this week:

Li Qiang was NOT welcome to Australia and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister were told not to “Don’t let China Silence you: Stand up for Tibet!” by Tibet supporters around the country.

The visit of Li Qiang was 4 days of highs and lows – but we made sure, during every stop on his visit, that he heard our message “Free Tibet!

The Highs:

LI QIANG could not escape our protests – We know that Li Qiang heard our protests and saw our protests everywhere he went in Australia.

In this Sky News footage of the “Welcome Ceremony” you can see that, between the cannon fire and the military band songs, our protest was seen and heard by all, even as they entered the Parliament House foyer for the signing of the book.

Li Qiang saw the Tibet flag fly high and was met with Tibetans and protestors in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.

Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hong Kong activists and Chinese Democracy Activists all worked together

At all protests, Australia Tibet Council worked with the ‘cross movement’ of activists and affected communities in solidarity. We were united by the common oppression of each community by Chinese Authorities and united in our message “Don’t trade away human rights!” We are stronger together!

Hundreds of Tibet supporters sent email actions to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister:

Hundreds of Tibet supporters around Australia participated in our email action to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister – amplifying the voice of our protest and ensuring that they could not deny that Tibet is important to Australians and that the community expects action on Tibet.

When Li Qiang arrived he issued a statement saying that he believed the mutually beneficial cooperation between Australia and China relied on “seeking common ground while shelving differences”.

Your action to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister make it clear that “Shelving differences’ is not acceptable to Australians who demand that they don’t let China set the terms for our trade agreements – especially do not allow the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to stay silent on Tibet.

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Media Coverage

The media covered our rallies across Australia, and this all puts pressure on the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. They cannot deny support for Tibet is strong and Australian’s remain committed to seeing outcomes for Tibet.

The Guardian: “Chinese Premier’s Australia visit overshadowed by officials’ apparent attempt to block Cheng Lei’s view at event.”

Aljazeera: “Australia’s Albanese and China’s Li hold ‘candid’ talks in Canberra”

SBS News: “Police accused of ‘excessive force’ by protester during Chinese premier’s visit to Parliament”

The Sydney Morning Herald: “‘We won’t always agree’: Albanese rejects Chinese premier’s call to shelve disputes”

ABC News AU: “Protesters scuffle outside Parliament House during Li Qiang’s visit to Australia”

ABC News AU: “‘How ACT Police planned security for Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s visit”

ABC News AU: “Three major highlights of Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s visit to Australia”

The Guardian: “Labor urged to put human rights record before trade as Chinese premier visits Canberra”

DailyMail AU: “Protesters clash in Canberra as China’s second-most powerful leader Li Qiang visits”

ABC News AU: “Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Canberra ahead of high-level talks with Anthony Albanese”

ABC News AU: “Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Canberra ahead of high-level talks with Anthony Albanese” “Chinese officials attempt to obstruct veteran journalist Cheng Lei during state visit”

ABC News AU: “Pomp and protests at Parliament House, as PM hosts the Chinese Premier”

7 News: “As Li Qiang flies back to Beijing, some controversy over his visit remains behind”

The Lows:

Aggression and violence from “Pro CCP” agitators

Regrettably, there were thousands of “Pro CCP” agitators in Canberra on Monday. It is well known that they had their transport, accommodation and meals paid by Chinese organisations with links to the United Work Party. These “Pro CCP’ supporters were aggressive and violent towards Tibetans and pro-human rights supporters.

Although we had several meetings with the Police in the lead-up to the event and expressed our concerns to them that these agitators were known to be aggressive and violent towards our peaceful non-violent protests, the police in the end let us down and failed to stop several acts of violence.

In Perth, one Tibetan man was seriously injured by a “Pro CCP” agitator – an injury made worse because of his years spent in prison as a political being tortured at the hands of his Chinese captors: Watch 7 News story

Despite our protests and the demands of Australians to prioritise human rights over trade, the Australian Government has failed to reflect our National Values.

It was shameful to see the Premier of South Australia and the Prime Minister fall into China’s “Panda diplomacy” trap.

It is known that Chinese officials use Panda as a ‘soft diplomacy’ tactic to avoid being challenged on real issues such as their occupation of Tibet, forced labour in Tibet and East Turkistan and the thousands of Tibetans in prison in Tibet as political prisoners.

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister want to claim that Australia prioritises Human Rights however, their failure act, to issue Magnitsky Sanctions against CCP officials responsible for human rights abuses in Tibet, makes their words ring hollow while no concrete action is taken.

As Dr Martin Luther King once said “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Xi Jinping visit is planned for later this year

The media is already reporting a possible visit by China’s President Xi Jinping – although no details regarding the places he will go or the dates of his visit have been announced.

Australia Tibet Council is preparing for any visit from Xi Jinping this year. It will be a visit that is bigger in every way, sadly we will probably see more “Pro CCP” gangs being organised for his visit and of course, our plan will be to continue to pressure the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister with actions, to achieve even greater media coverage and to turn out in even greater numbers!

How you can help us plan:

· If you hear any credible reports of when and where Xi Jinping will be – please report to ATC

· If you have any connections to billboards, mobile billboards, Aerial advertising or any other effective promotional services – please let us know so that we will be able to book these services to call for a Free Tibet!

Thank you all once again for your support for Tibet and the work of Australia Tibet Council.

Because of Tibet supporters like you, we were able to make sure that Li Qiang both saw and heard our message that “Tibet Will Be Free!”

Support Australia Tibet Counci’s work by making a donation