Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for June 19, 2018

Newsline: Chinese ambassador calls on Australia to drop ‘Cold War mentality’

China’s ambassador to Australia said on Tuesday “less bias and bigotry” was needed to repair bilateral relations amid concerns over Chinese influence in Australia and its use of loans to build leverage over poorer South Pacific island nations. “We need to see each other’s development and policy intentions from a more positive perspective with less Cold War mentality,” Cheng Jingye said in a speech to politicians and business leaders in Canberra. Relations between Canberra and Beijing have soured since Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused China late last year of meddling in domestic affairs, and as concern at China’s influence in the region has grown. Editorials in Chinese state media, including the China Daily and the Global Times, on Tuesday accused Australia of arrogance and taking a “distorted view on relations”.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-china-diplomacy/chinese-ambassador-calls-on-australia-to-drop-cold-war-mentality-idUSKBN1JF045

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Newsline: Sacked US Embassy guards in Cambodia stage protest

Almost three dozen security guards fired by the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia for allegedly sharing pornography on smartphones they used for work held a protest Tuesday demanding proper compensation from their former employer. The 32 protesting guards said they had been sacked without a full explanation and not according to the law, and placards they held complained of injustice. The protesters acknowledged that some pornographic images had been shared but argued that it had been on a private chat group they had set up on Facebook Messenger and not the official embassy chat group. Reports in Cambodia media had said some images featured people under the age of 18, but one placard declared the allegation unproven. A spokesman for the embassy, David Josar, said it did not comment on internal personnel matters but took the problem of child pornography seriously and also respected the right to peaceful protest. An embassy official accepted a petition from the group. The protesters claimed the phones at issue were their own property, not the embassy’s. They also accused the embassy of violating their rights by searching their phones. The guards said their terms of employment at the embassy ranged from five to 20 years. They said since they got fired in late March, they have filed several complaints with the embassy, but had not received a satisfactory response. Until the matter was fairly resolved, they said, they would continue to protest.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/sacked-us-embassy-guards-cambodia-stage-protest-55994165