June 13, 2012 12:00AM
BY Rowan Callick's account, the chief executive of Australia Network, Bruce Dover, has finally admitted that Australia Network chose not to show the film The 10 Conditions of Love on its Asia feed because it feared it would "strike a sensitive nerve" in China. ("Uighur movie screens but Asia misses out", 11/6).
Dover also implies that he withheld the broadcast because "other governments in the region" might also be concerned about their respective local re-broadcasters offending China.
So, not only does the ABC, parent of the Australia Network, perform diplomatic service on behalf of Australia, it now takes the interests of other unspecified Asian governments into account.
Such activity might be dubious even in the hands of a station operated and controlled by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but it's surely another matter when it's in the hands of a station that operates under the ABC's editorial policies.
Perhaps the Australian government's next move in the Australia Network saga will be to hand the contract over to Beijing.