parlous state of Australia-China relations has dropped off the front pages of
China's Communist Party mouthpieces and shifted to China's most popular media
and occasionally soul-searching views have emerged as Chinese readers are
introduced to a broader range of Australian perspectives and the basics of
biggest selling paper, the Reference
News, on Wednesday devoted its front page to a conciliatory commentary by
Greg Rudd, brother of the Prime Minister.
significance of Greg Rudd's public thoughts were hugely magnified in China,
where fraternal ties and family discretion can be all-important.
Chinese intellectual told the Herald
the placement of the commentary, under the headline ''Kevin Rudd's brother
strongly stands up for China-Australian friendship'', was ''terrible'' for Mr
Rudd's reputation because it suggested to Chinese readers that his own brother
thought his more confrontational policies were ''crazy''.
policy discussion in China is frequently driven by China's internet
intellectuals rather than the mostly state-controlled print media.
blogger, Yang Hengjun, yesterday wrote that Kevin Rudd's perceived
unfriendliness was in response to a new undercurrent that Australians would call
''anti-Communist Party'' but Chinese described as ''anti-Chinese''.
explained that Mr Rudd's foreign policy was a response to China's popular image
being damaged by the Olympic Torch relay in Canberra last year and the Rio Tinto
Rudd cannot help but heed the turnaround in the Australian electorate and media
towards China,'' he wrote. Dr Yang is a former Chinese diplomat and popular spy
novelist, whose family lives in Sydney and who this year received his PhD in
political science from the University of Technology, Sydney.
PhD supervisor, Feng Chongyi, said Dr Yang ''is in the top three or five
bloggers in China''.
Yang counselled those calling for all manner of retribution against Australia to
first take a hard look at themselves.
were Australian articles criticising China, he said, but they did not make
''personal or humiliating attacks'' on China's leaders.