Opening of Chinese consulate in Adelaide draws huge protests

Activists from Uighur, Hong Kong, Tibet and Falun Gong protesting outside the Chinese consulate in Adelaide. Image: ABC News/Olivia Mason

DHARAMSALA, 30 March: The opening of a Chinese consulate in Adelaide, Australia was marked with protests calling out China for the human rights violations.

Hundreds of Uighurs, Hong Kongers, Tibetan and Falun Gong practitioners activists have gathered outside the Chinese consulate in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs to protest against China’s human rights violations earlier today.

The activists were also joined by locals as they say “the compound spread over 5200m2 block in Joslin, north-east Adelaide looks more like a fortress than a consular office.”

“It’s an invasion again — for we have been invaded in our country,” ABC News, a public news service in Australia quoted Nawang Thubten Tenzin, a Tibetan immigrant as saying in its report.

“We are very concerned — there is no need for this gigantic building.”

Identifying the consulate as a national threat as it is located in Australia’s  ‘defence force capital,’ the protesters were also joined by some politicians, the report stated.

”Australia’s national security should always come first,” independent South Australian Senator Rex Patrick has said in the report.

“In the case of China’s Adelaide Consulate General, a fortified compound to be opened by South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, a significant reduction of the eleven consular staff would help protect our vital naval shipbuilding projects and other defence industry facilities from Chinese espionage.”

According to the report, the Police “closed off parts of the road in front of the consulate in Joslin as protesters raised a myriad of complaints against the Chinese government.”

Further, the ‘intimidating’ facility with high fences and an array of security cameras has also raised eyebrows within the Department of Foreign Affairs, due to its excessive size, staffing levels and proximity to an Australian naval base, the mail online reported.

Adelaide houses the largest Uyghur population in Australia, and previously they are only two consulate in Adelaide- for Italy and Greece.

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