Andrew Hastie and James Paterson have been openly critical of Chinese regime
The Chinese embassy in Canberra has called on two Liberal MPs to repent and redress their mistakes after they were barred from visiting Beijing for a study tour.
WA Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and Victorian senator James Paterson have both been critical of the Chinese regime, raising concerns about human rights abuses and political repression.
The pair had been due to travel on a China Matter study tour in December along with Labor MP from WA, Matt Keogh.
A statement from the embassy said that China was open to constructive dialogue and exchanges with people from all over the world based on mutual respect, equality and seeking common ground while reserving differences.
The Chinese people do not welcome those who make unwarranted attacks, wantonly exert pressure on China, challenge Chinas sovereignty, disrespect Chinas dignity and undermine mutual trust between China and Australia, the embassy said.
The colonial days of Western powers are long gone. China will never yield to colonisation of ideas and values.
As long as the people concerned genuinely repent and redress their mistakes, view China with objectivity and reason, respect Chinas system and mode of development chosen by the Chinese people, the door of dialogue and exchanges will always remain open.
The China Matters thinktank said the embassy had objected to publicity surrounding the tour after it was revealed Paterson and Hastie had been invited on the trip.
It is most unfortunate that the names of the politicians who had accepted our invitation to join the study tour in December became public in advance, China Matters said on Friday.
The media attention that ensued created an environment which was no longer conducive to our goal of facilitating low-key discussions and exchanging differing points of view behind closed doors.
In a joint statement, Hastie and Paterson said they had looked forward to learning from the Chinese people about their culture, history and perspective during this visit.
We are disappointed that this opportunity for dialogue now wont occur.
We are particularly disappointed that the apparent reason why we are not welcome in China at this time is our frankness about the Chinese Communist Party.
Hastie drew the ire of colleagues when an opinion piece he wrote in August criticised Chinas authoritarian rise and likened the complacency about Xi Jinpings philosophy and intentions to Europes response to Nazi Germany before World War II.
He has also spoken out about Chinese influence in Australia and human rights abuses against the Uighur population in Xinjiang province.
Paterson has also been a fierce critic of the Chinese, raising concerns about the risk of Chinese influence at Australian universities and the escalating violence in Hong Kong.
Paterson told ABC news on Friday, that he would continue to exercise his freedom of speech.
If thats the price for speaking out, for being honest with our constituents about our concerns about our relationship with China, then thats the price that Im sure Andrew is willing to pay, and Im willing to pay, he said.
Hong Kong is one of the most amazing places in the world and what is happening there is an absolute tragedy and I believe the Communist Party bears some responsibility for that.
Australian Associated Press contributed to this report