The Chinese regime’s next ambassador to Australia is Xiao Qian, Beijing’s current envoy to Indonesia.
According to The Australian, Xiao’s nomination has been agreed to by the Morrison government and comes after the exit of “wolf warrior” Cheng Jingye, who’s tenure saw him adopt a more confrontational style of rhetoric against Australia.
Xiao has also demonstrated a willingness to attack critics of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In September, he wrote in the Jakarta Post that Washington’s recent calls for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 was a “political farce.”
“The so-called origin tracing investigation of the U.S. government by its intelligence community is clearly politicising the issue of origin tracing,” he wrote in his op-ed. “Such a practice disturbs and sabotages international cooperation on origin tracing and on global fight against the pandemic.”
Chin Jin, chair of the Federation for a Democratic China, warned in 2007 that regardless of who the ambassador was, under the CCP regime, their personal views would be sidelined for the interests of the communist regime.
“The incoming ambassador will continue the policy of consistent persuasion and seduction to undermine the U.S.-Australia alliance in particular, and to consolidate Australia-China relations,” he wrote in an op-ed.
“China’s huge purchasing capacity for Australia’s raw materials and its seemingly enormous domestic markets will be used as effective tools to lure Australia closer to China in dealings with future international or regional relationships and conflicts of interest,” he said.
“In the process, China’s total lack of democracy, and its appalling record on human rights are completely overlooked. Trade and money are thought to be more important.”
The former ambassador, Cheng Jingye, served in Australia from 2016 until October 2021.
He was the public face of Beijing’s “wolf-warrior diplomacy” in Australia and began making headlines in April 2020 after Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne publicly called for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
Cheng’s response was to make veiled threats and warn the federal government that pushing for an inquiry could see Australia-China bilateral trade suffer.
What followed was an economic coercion campaign that saw the Chinese authorities roll out a series of measures to disrupt key Australian exports, including barley, coal, cotton, hay, logs, meat, rock lobsters, and wine.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg estimated on Sept. 6 that the measures contributed to an AU$5.4 billion (US$4 billion) drop in exports in the year to June 2021.
At the same time, however, exporters have been moving to alternative markets, which saw trade exports to other parts of the world increase by $4.4 billion.
Cheng also rounded on federal members of Parliament—including using a Nazi slur against Senator Eric Abetz—who were critical of Beijing during a public inquiry into the Foreign Relations Bill. That law resulted in the cancellation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreement between Chinese authorities and the state of Victoria.
Under Cheng’s leadership, the Chinese Embassy in Canberra also “leaked” a document containing 14 grievances against Australia. The laundry list of complaints allegedly contributed to strained bilateral ties—they included the ban on Huawei from the Australia’s 5G network, foreign interference laws, media reporting on China, and Australia’s negative stance on the BRI.