Australia has scrapped pans for a free trade agreement with Taiwan after China warned any deal would hurt relations between Beijing and Canberra.
The Conservative Party's South Australian Senate candidate Rikki Lambert says this is yet another example of undue Chinese influence in Australian politics.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports, Taiwan was on a list of economies the Coalition government was considering for bilateral trade deals but, in a series of recent meetings, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi conveyed directly to former foreign minister Julie Bishop that China was opposed to Australia boosting formal ties with the Taiwanese government.
"The Chinese government made it clear to me that circumstances had changed between Taiwan and mainland China and that China would not look favourably on Australia seeking to pursue a free trade agreement with Taiwan, as New Zealand had done some years ago," Ms Bishop told Fairfax Media.
Rikki has told Adelaide radio station FIVEaa the extent of Chinese political, economic, and cultural influence in Australia is extremely concerning.
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