By LUCY WEI
On May 12th, “The Sydney Post” interviewed former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd online. Lao Lu (Chinese people’s nickname for Mr. Rudd) answered a lot of questions from The Sydney Post in English and Chinese. It is known that this is Lao Lu’s first interview with Chinese-Australian media in recent years. It is also a full expression of approval of the local Chinese media, including the Sydney Post. The details are as follows.
please see below a statement from Mr Rudd
As Prime Minister of Australia and now as President and CEO of Asia Society in New York, I have benefitted from hearing the perspectives of Asian-Australians and Asian-Americans. They always speak highly of the opportunity and prosperity we all enjoy in Australia and the United States.
However, when the topic of racism is raised, it is usually marked by the solemn reflection that, yes, hatred and discrimination is also part of their lived experience. It has been an undertone of everyday life for some. Many can recount chilling stories of threats and abuse in their own lives.
This is more than regrettable. We all have a responsibility to oppose this hatred. It undermines our cohesion as a society.
Especially against the backdrop of tension between the US and China, we must be very clear about our beliefs:
We condemn racism and discrimination in all its forms, wherever it occurs and against whomever it occurs.
We stand side-by-side as citizens with those who have migrated here and are making their contribution to our community, as well as their children and grandchildren. We are equal under the law.
We will call out those who seek to undermine our society by spreading hatred.
I abhor the reported rise in racism toward Asian-Australians and Asian-Americans.
Last year, Asia Society heard from US Congressman Ted Lieu. Mr Lieu has served his new home, the United States, with distinction. He told us that xenophobia is fuelled in large part by political rhetoric. He made these remarks in May 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.
It is unfortunate to say that, yes, the rise of anti-Asian discrimination and the commentary around COVID-19 were linked. Some may debate the extent of this link, but the fact of a link is, in my view, undeniable.
We must have the wisdom to separate instances of individuals criticising foreign governments, which is perfectly legitimate in the spirit of democracy, from thinly veiled attacks against an entire races of good, hard-working people.
We must ensure our media, whoever the owner may be, is aware of the risks of misreporting the facts on our broader society. In Australia, I have taken a very firm stance on disinformation wherever I see it presented in media reporting.
At the Asia Society, we are active in pushing back against this tide of discrimination. We are standing in solidarity against hatred. It is central to our purpose, which is to increase understanding between the East and West, especially China and the United States.
I am, by nature, an optimist. I believe there is a path through these tensions between the United States and China. I think it also follows that reduced tension between these two superpowers would relax, to some extent, the social tensions which Asian-Americans and Asian-Australians have to live with everyday. But we cannot be complacent in achieving this mutual understanding.
I am proud that Australia is a country of vibrant multiculturalism and mutual understanding. But there is always more to do. Representation in Australia’s positions of power is lacking among many large ethnic minorities. Correcting for this under-representation is just one part of the greater challenge we have ahead of us. I have faith that our multi-ethnic communities will continue to coexist in peace and harmony.