Australian radio host racist, fans hatred with lies about China

By Chen Hong Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/4 15:50:40

Residents do shopping in the supermarket Costco in Canberra, Australia, March 4, 2020. With a jump in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia, many residents have been filling their cupboards with essential items for the event of a widespread outbreak. (Photo by Chu Chen/Xinhua)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison made an appearance on a Sydney radio station Friday morning accepting an interview with host Alan Jones. Although Australia is being increasingly ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 5,300 confirmed cases as of press time, the right-wing radio shock jock cares less about how to effectively contain COVID-19 and more about pointing an accusing finger at China. 

Jones twisted facts, blaming two Chinese companies - Greenland Australia and Risland Australia - which purchased medical supplies such as surgical masks and hand sanitizer from Australia early in February, for Australia's current medical supplies shortages. He also groundlessly accused China of resuming wet markets without additional rules and regulations, saying "fruit bats are still on the menu." He went on to smear the cooperation between WHO and China in the pandemic fight. How dare you, Alan Jones, with your ignorance, wickedness and shamelessness?

When China was severely hit by the coronavirus epidemic in late January and early February and patients, medical workers and citizens in Central China's Hubei Province were in dire need of medical supplies including face masks and protective outfits, foreign governments, enterprises and people, including those from Australia, offered a timely helping hand, sending emergency relief assistance to China's epidemic-ravaged regions. The Chinese people will remember the goodwill forever. 

Since the beginning of March, in the face of rising number of infections caused by inadequate epidemic prevention and control, panic buying was a constant scene in supermarkets and pharmacies in many Australian cities and towns. Because of a lack of scientific and rational guidance, Australian residents stampeded supermarkets and pharmacies to buy commodities such as food, masks and sanitizers. Even toilet paper had been incredibly constantly out of stock. This is the real cause to Australia's current shortage of medical supplies.   

Jones deliberately dislocated the timing of Australian donations to China which took place before the pandemic began spreading in Australia with the ongoing medical supplies shortage that the country is grappling with. Jones misled the Australian public with an illusion that Chinese owned companies such as Greenland Australia and Risland Australia are maliciously buying medical materials that Australia urgently needs. He was contriving to incite the Australian public's hostility against China. Is there anything more sinister than such dirty tricks? In order to smear China, Jones has lost the basic professional ethics and morality as a media personality.   

Worse, Jones went on to fabricate facts, claiming wet markets have restarted in China without additional rules and regulations. Based on what did Jones make this inference? In a country where kangaroo meats can be found in supermarkets, how can Jones tell the tall tale without shame that Chinese are now eating bats everywhere? This is the most abhorrent lie based on blatant racism. 

Jones is a maverick media figure in Australia. He often delivered startling remarks and fabricated facts to garner attention. Of course, he only represents a small number of people in Australia and other Western countries. But unfortunately, it's those minority that have dominated the discourse of mainstream media. They take advantage of their position as key opinion leaders to manipulate public opinion, trying to incite confrontation between the Chinese and Australian people and mislead government decision-making.   

Jones also told lies about China's relations with the WHO. "Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth", is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Jones apparently intended to do so by virtue of mass media's influence. 

China and people across the world have suffered great losses in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global common enemy. China is actively cooperating with the international community, striving to vanquish the virus. At a time when global solidarity is most needed, Jones and his likes are making up lies to deceive people and manipulate government's decision-making for their own vested interests. Truth will finally prevail. China has made enormous sacrifices to fight the coronavirus. Our fight is for all the humanity and our victory will be the common victory of mankind.

Jones' tricks are doomed to fail. Prime Minister Morrison didn't respond in tune with Jones during the interview. It's expected that Australian decision-makers could act rationally based on facts. At a time full of uncertainties, rationality is required to improve China-Australia relations. 

The author is a professor and Director of Australian Studies Centre of East China Normal University. [email protected]

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