Twiggy’s hijacker Long Zhou and China’s web ‘solution’

Before he was Beijing's man in Melbourne, the diplomat who hijacked a federal government press conference this week had advocated for a "China Solution" for controlling the internet internationally.

Long Zhou became China's consul-general to Victoria last year. Prior to that he was "co-ordinator of cyber affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs" and in 2017 he launched a document described as the China Solution to web governance.

With the help of Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, on Wednesday Mr Long made an unscheduled speech at a Melbourne media event but was prevented from taking journalists' questions by Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Long Zhao speaks as Greg Hunts listens at the press conference.
Long Zhao speaks as Greg Hunts listens at the press conference.


Back in 2017 Mr Long did field reporters' inquiries about the China Solution.

Asked about his country's internet management, he said "there is no absolute freedom in this world."

Questioned about cyber attacks on the United States that allegedly originated from China, Mr Long said China had been a victim of hacking.

"Unlike some other people," he said, "we have not described ourselves as a victim every day and finger-pointed other countries and other people every day."

Mr Long reportedly attempted to persuade the United Nations to adopt a concept known as "cyber sovereignty" that would allow each country to govern the internet as it saw fit without interference from other nations.

The internet was full of subversive thought, religious extremism, pornography, fake news and financial scams, Mr Long reportedly said.

China would work with Russia on the cyber sovereignty concept, he said.

Mr Long was invited to this week's government media conference by Dr Forrest. The event was meant to provide details of Dr Forrest's purchase of 10 million coronavirus tests from countries including China for use by Australian governments.

Mr Hunt did not have advance notice that Mr Long would speak. In his address Mr Long said the Chinese government had released information on COVID-19 in "an open, transparent and responsible manner".

The Morrison government has been calling for an independent international investigation into the origins and spread of coronavirus in China.





Originally published as Twiggy's hijacker Long Zhou and China's web 'solution'