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Australian Senate Hopeful Triggers Row After Holding 'F*** Xi Jinping' Sign

© Sputnik / Alexey Danichev / Go to the mediabankChinese President Xi Jinping at SPIEF
Chinese President Xi Jinping at SPIEF - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.05.2022
While Drew Pavlou has the thinnest of chances of securing a Senate seat in the upcoming federal vote on 21 May, his controversial protest against President Xi Jinping has drawn the attention of netizens and mainstream media alike.
Scores of Australian observers have criticised the police in New South Wales (NSW) state after the force allegedly booked a 22-year-old Senate candidate for protesting against Chinese President Xi Jinping in a busy Sydney suburb over the weekend.
The placard held by Drew Pavlou, a candidate for the federal Senate, used a swear word against President Xi.

A day after the protest, Pavlou announced (on 1 May) that he was being charged by the police in New South Wales for his controversial protest. “They won’t tell me what the exact charge is and they won’t tell me whether the men who physically assaulted us are being charged”, he stated.

The Senate hopeful bashed the police, describing their action as a “textbook case of elite capture”. “Now that it’s seemingly illegal to insult Xi Jinping while campaigning for election in Australia, it’s safe to conclude that Australia is the Germany of the South Pacific”, he stated.
Several high-profile Twitter users have also expressed disappointment with the police action.
© Photo : TwitterDrew Pavlou
Drew Pavlou - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.05.2022
Drew Pavlou

“This is ridiculous. Drew Pavlou, an Australian political candidate, is pointing out the atrocities of a brutal foreign dictator. Is attacked while holding a demonstration sign “F… Xi Jinping” - and then NSW Police tell him he is to be charged? But won’t tell him what for? Suss”, commented Anthony Klan, an editor at the publication Klaxon.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties, an activist group, has also leapt to the defence of Pavlou.

"The police should certainly tell you what you’ve been charged with. We don’t think its offensive to use the word f**k in a political statement”, the group said.

Locals Angry With the Anti-China Protest

Besides the police, Pavlou’s rude remark against Xi didn’t go down well with local shopkeepers in Bennelong in Sydney’s northwest, a part of the metropolis with a considerable presence of Chinese-Australians.
The 22-year-old has posted several videos of him being verbally targeted and forced to end his protest.
Pavlou questioned why the police haven't initiated action against the people who he claims “assaulted” him during his one-man demonstration.
The political row over Pavlou’s remarks comes amid growing discord between China and Australia over Beijing's security cooperation with the Solomon Islands, an issue that has taken centre stage during the ongoing federal election campaign.
Beijing is also Canberra's largest two-way trading partner. The federal opposition Labor Party has described the Sino-Solomon pact as a “policy failure” on the part of the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government.
Morrison has warned that a potential Chinese military base on the Solomon Islands would constitute a “red line” for Canberra and Washington.
Beijing has rejected claims that it wants to set up a base in the region.
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