Gareth Smith, Byron Bay
Trade Minister Dan Tehan wants to refer China to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because he deems its imposition of tariffs on Australian exports unfair. He extolled the virtues of a rules-based international system and said the alternative is the law of the jungle.
Compare this with Australia’s record on human rights. During the dispute over Timor Sea oil and gas reserves, Australia withdrew from the International Court of Justice to stymie Timor Leste’s appeal to it. When Palestine referred apartheid Israel to the International Criminal Court, Australia intervened claiming that Palestine was not a state and therefore its case was invalid.
Our treatment of Aborigines, asylum seekers and whistleblowers like Julian Assange, Bernard Collaery, David McBride and Richard Boyle is an affront to all those who support the rule of law and not the law of the jungle. The Australian government’s squealing to the WTO, while blatantly trampling human rights, is a class act in hypocrisy!