Democracy triumphs over Turnbull’s unfathomable foreign policy fiasco

Democracy triumphs over Turnbull’s unfathomable foreign policy fiasco, by Greg Sheridan.

It was a great day for democracy in Australia as the political class ­rejected the debasement of our laws and legal system involved in ratifying the extradition treaty ­between Australia and China, and rejected likewise the enormous pressure the Chinese government brought to bear on the matter. …

Rejecting the treaty was the right thing to do. Those Liberals who considered crossing the floor are an advertisement for decency and values in politics. …

Surely the most objectionable element of the government’s ­arguments was to cite the situation of Australians who are now in Chinese custody. … If the Chinese government is going to mistreat Australian prisoners because Canberra does not ratify a treaty this is itself proof ­beyond question that the Chinese legal system is not independent or truly based on law. …

The Labor Party has behaved well here. People are mistaking Penny Wong’s reticence to criticise the treaty in principle, but rather to base Labor’s public justification for rejection in process ­issues, as meaning Labor has no objection to this treaty in principle. That is dead wrong, as Bill Shorten’s several comments on the matter illustrate clearly. Instead, Labor consistently tried to offer the government a way out of the mess of its own making which did not humiliate the Chinese and caused as little diplomatic fallout as possible. …

No country other than China makes a remotely comparable ­effort to manipulate, coerce and control the political activities of its diaspora population in Australia as China does. And no other country has China’s ability to pressure an Australian government. This appalling treaty would institutionalise that manipulation and invite that pressure.

And a minor blow for anti-globalization.

hat-tip Stephen Neil