Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells launched the attack last night on Twitter after Ms Bishop offered her insights on how to repair the relationship with China.
“Another airhead comment from the ‘couch’. We had 6 years of ‘Instagram diplomacy’ that ignored #CCP skulduggery and ‘debt-trap diplomacy’!,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells responded.
She appears to have been referring to a recent Instagram post where Ms Bishop appeared on a couch at home wearing pink shorts and posted “Working from home COVID-style audio v video #isolife.”
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The famously fit former MP is also pictured on her Instagram account doing a handstand and making a joke about Eva Peron, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Peron and inspiration for Evita, while standing on a balcony surrounding by male supporters.
A China hawk and the conservative Liberal, Senator Fierravanti-Wells has railed against the threat of China for years.
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In the lead up to the August 24, 2018 leadership spill, she resigned from her frontbench job accusing Malcolm Turnbull and Ms Bishop of failing to back her up on China and the Pacific.
In her post-politics work, Ms Bishop has been outspoken on China urging “some very calm and considered diplomacy” behind the scenes.
She has offered some sotto voce criticisms of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and urged the COVID-19 probe to be expanded to include other countries
“China should in fact be leading an inquiry into how this pandemic began,” she told the Lowy Institute.
“It is regrettable that it has now descended into name-calling and tensions and inflammatory rhetoric.”
Ms Bishop is now the chancellor of the Australian National University, which has significant financial interest in restarting the overseas student market, including from China.