Deputy Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce says some Asian nations may view our obsession with free speech and the right to vote as ‘decadent’, and has warned Australians that our continued embrace of human rights may damage our trading relationships in the region.
“Whether you like it or not, when we go there, there are judgements made about us. You’ve got to be honest – all this free speech, free press, equal rights stuff is not a good look.
Mr Joyce said our export industries could be compromised if we insist on all this equality. “I could certainly see a situation whereby China stops buying iron ore from us because we choose to treat people equally. Absolutely”.
He said while we didn’t need to be exactly the same as our Asian neighbours, we should probably check with them first before making any social or moral decisions. “They tend to set the benchmark in these areas,” he said.