Are Australia-Chinese relations at Breaking Point?

May 21, 2018

Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi has been highly critical of Chinese influence in Australia and says the Federal Government needs to toughen up on the China-Australia relationship.

It is fair to say that the bilateral relationship is at a very low point.

A recent Four Corners joint investigation by the ABC and Fairfax Media promised to uncover “how China’s Communist Party is secretly infiltrating Australia.”

The program traced the stories of various individuals and their ties to China and concluded that Australians must all be more careful of “covert Chinese actions taking place on Australian soil.”

After that programme aired, Australian media, think tanks, and politicians, as well as other analysts, experts, and commentators have been intensively investigating the issue of Chinese influence in Australia.

Former New South Wales Labor Senator Sam Dastyari lost his seat over the issue, and legislation directed at foreign influence is being introduced.

In December, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cited “disturbing reports about Chinese influence” in introducing legislation that would ban foreign political donations saying foreign powers were making “unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process.”

Senator Bernardi has told Sky News he is deeply concerned about Chinese influence on Australia's economy, in our political affairs and our educational system.

Picture: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Chinese President Xi Jinping

To watch Senator Bernardi's speech to the Senate about Chinese influence in Australian politics, click the box below:

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