As you might know, I often refer to the ABC as “Australia’s taxpayer-funded leftist propaganda network”. It’s one thing to joke about it – but quite another when the Chinese Communist Party proves my point by singing the praises of the Ultimo Pravda.

The ABC’s recent hatchet-job on the Falun Gong movement is thrilling the commissars from Beijing to Xianjing.

Most Australians would be at least vaguely familiar with Falun Gong, either from their regular ­meditation and exercise sessions which are a feature of life in many suburban parks, or their silent ­protests against the group’s brutal repression in mainland China — repression that has included arbitrary detention, forced labour, and even organ harvesting.

But according to a three-part Foreign Correspondent-Background Briefing joint effort, Falun Gong is something far more troubling — a dangerous cult that kills its adherents by insisting they refuse to take medicine and which also supposedly lends its support to the ABC’s Public Enemy No. 1, Donald Trump.

Which, coincidentally, lines up pretty closely with Beijing propaganda says about Falun Gong.

The ABC’s hit-piece was even thinner on evidence than the hysterical allegations it regularly lobs against the Australian military. The shocking revelation that a teacher at a Falun Gong dance academy once called the daughter of a practitioner fat is risible gossip, not news. The news that NIMBYs in upstate New York are a bit sniffy about a bunch of weirdo religious foreigners bringing down their property values should be compared with the ABC’s hysterical denigration of Bendigo residents upset about a massive mosque being built in their town.

But while this might have seemed like fairly thin gruel to most viewers, it was apparently exactly what they wanted to hear in Beijing.

The report did such a good job of trashing Falun Gong that the ABC won praise from a number of Chinese news outlets — including an official “anti-cult” website of the Chinese Communist Party — even before the first episode hit screens in Australia.

In an article published shortly after the trailer for the series was released, the official “anti-cult” website of China’s State Council, www.­chinafxj.cn, published a glowing pre-­review of the series, congratulating the ABC for coming to the party with its anticipated broadside against Falun Gong[…]

A few days later, China’s Guancha — or Observer — likewise cheered on the ABC.

But this isn’t just a case of the ABC’s left bias being indelibly exposed by who its friends and supporters are. Worse than that, the ABC (unwittingly, one hopes) are useful idiots doing Beijing’s dirty work.

I spoke with Dr Lucy Zhao, who started practising Falun Gong 20 years ago when she was doing her PhD in Canada and today is the President of the Falun Dafa Association, who told me that this report sets a worrying ­precedent.

According to her, it’s almost certain that the Chinese Communist Party will use the ABC reports to justify a further crackdown on Falun Gong practitioners in China[…]

“We’ve already seen this happen after the first report and we will see more of it after episodes two and three”, Zhao told me.

More concerning, it’s clear from the number of Chinese media reports that, according to Zhao, “the Chinese government is really informed about (the ABC series) and are using it to further their suppression of Falun Gong in China.”

In Australia, as well, Falun Gong is increasingly being harassed. This is part of a well-established pattern. Academic Clive Hamilton, the author of Silent Invasion, first took notice of CCP activity in Australia when he witnessed a small group of pro-Tibet activists being swarmed by Chinese students. Swimmer Mack Horton has endured endless threats and attacks since criticising Chinese swimmer Sun Yang as a drug cheat. Brisbane student Drew Pavlou was assaulted while leading an anti-Beijing protest on campus.

The ABC might not like Falun Gong as a group which criticises sexual libertinism, and gay marriage especially, and many of whose followers support Donald Trump because of his tough stance against the Xi regime.

But it is a bigger worry when the line of the ABC so closely matches that of the CCP.

As Zhao says: “Why is it taxpayer money is being spent on something not in our national interest?”

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