Chinese interference in Australia
While China and Australia had a mutually beneficial trading relationship in 2016, the same year Australia criticised China’s expansion and territorial claims in the South China Sea. Consequently, the relationship between the two nations has grown colder.
Australia continued to work together with the US, Japan and India cooperatively in withstanding China’s actions.
In 2017 attempts by China to influence Australian politicians and their blatant use of university students coming to study in Australia was exposed.
Reviews of financial donations revealed that significant financial contributions were being made to Australian political parties through Chinese representatives.
By December 2017 Labor Senator Sam Dastyari resigned after a political scandal where he was exposed for cooperating with Chinese interests. Consequently foreign donations to political parties was banned.
In 2019 it was reported that car dealer Bo “Nick” Zhao had been approached by China to run as a candidate for the Liberal Party. Consequently, Zhao was found dead in a Melbourne hotel room with the cause undetermined.
With rising popular sentiment against China, Australia condemned China’s persecution of Muslim minorities and their heavy handed tactics around the Hong Kong situation. Australia reiterated these positions through the United Nations.
In 2020 the Australian government began to question China around the coronavirus pandemic and alleged that Beijing was disseminating disinformation. In response China refused to accept imports of Australian beef, barley, lobsters and coal. China also threatened to target Australia’s tourism industry.
On 17 November 2020, China released a report accusing Australia for targeting China, and expressed anger over claims made by Clive Hamilton, Andrew Hastie MP, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, etc.
The Australian government also rejected Chinese companies from installing or participating in the 5G telecommunications network because of the possibilities of spying or hacking.
Left wing activists within Australia accused the Australian military of “atrocities” which led to a left-leaning military leader commissioning an investigation into alleged events purported to have occurred in Afghanistan. The highly publicised “Brereton Report” was essentially used as a propaganda piece by left-leaning groups to undermine Australia’s position and to smear the military. On cue, China produced a badly photoshopped image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to a Afghan girl’s throat. This doctored image elicited outrage from most sections of Australian society, though left-leaning Twitter refused to remove the image.
The Presidential election fraud in the United States has exposed serious inroads of Chinese funding and influence into Western governments and institutions throughout society. While there is a general traditional antipathy against China in the Australian population, years of multiculturalism and other left-wing efforts such as “political correctness”, “intersectionality”, “cultural Marxism” and “social or cultural redistribution” have resulted in various agencies, intuitions and departments acquiescing to and in some cases being resourced by Chinese interests.
Questions are being raised over the exact relationship between Chinese activities and those of left-wing power groups like Open Societies and their ability to use or connect with organisations like GetUp, the Australian/New Zealand White Rose Antifa group and the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Australia’s intelligence advice has repeatedly warned of a range of illicit Chinese activities within Australia’s borders, all of which are designed to weaken Australia and bring it into compliance with the CCP.