The People’s Republic of China is an unpleasant dictatorship – with scant regard
for democracy in Australia, it appears. Scant regard for democracy – and a few
well placed agents of influence happy to collude with its human rights

Two prominent political figures, vice-president of the European
Parliament Edward McMillan-Scott and former Canadian minister David Kilgour, are
visiting Australia promoting their report that the Chinese government has
executed thousands of Falun Gong dissidents and harvested their

Victorian state parliamentarian Victor Perton was asked to host a
meeting at Parliament House for McMillan-Scott and Kilgour – only to find every
room booked up. Another venue was located and an email invitation issued to all
Victorian state MPs.

A day later the Chinese consul-general wrote to all
lower house MPs – except Perton – criticising the meeting and belittling the
McMillan-Scott/Kilgour report.

Perton tells Crikey that some of his
colleagues are wondering out loud if there’s been a breach of privilege in this
chain of events. And he finds it noteworthy that one of his parliamentary
colleagues has felt compelled to pass on his invitation to the Chinese

It appears than an MP felt that it was in their interests to
pass on the email to Chinese government representatives in Australia – a
reminder of the warning from former Chinese diplomat and defector Chen Yonglin
that the People’s Republic has many agents of influence working in

China, of course, is noted for the hospitality it dishes out
to visiting delegations of parliamentarians and political

Perton reports that colleagues have joked that he won’t be
enjoying any of that now. But he also notes that the gags seem to be a tacit
acknowledgement of the compromises required in dealing with a nation with
China’s abysmal human rights record.

Perton says this is the first time
China has used its diplomats to respond to the claims, which are coming under
closer scrutiny.

Both Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and his
opposition counterpart, Kevin Rudd, backed calls for an independent inquiry into
the allegations of organ harvesting on Lateline
last week.

has responded to
China’s dismissal of his claims and Perton has welcomed the consul-general’s
decision to buy into the debate.

“I have invited him to join today’s
panel on the allegations of organ harvesting and to take questions from the
audience,” Perton says. “It will be interesting to see if he accepts the