Australia Weighs the Cost of Resisting China’s Meddling

Australia Weighs the Cost of Resisting China’s Meddling

May 11th, 2018

Via: Bloomberg:

When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Australia in March 2017, he had a clear message for policy makers: There’s no need to pick sides between Washington and Beijing.

More than a year later, that’s becoming ever harder for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. A slew of recent media reports showed that China’s Communist Party was covertly meddling with media, universities and lawmakers, prompting a public outcry.

Turnbull responded by backing new legislation to clamp down on foreign interference in politics and business, which may be put to a vote in the coming weeks. In December, he used broken Mandarin to paraphrase a quote attributed to Chairman Mao Zedong during China’s founding, saying “the Australian people stand up and assert their sovereignty.�

China stands ready to use its trade leverage to hit Australia if ties deteriorate further, said Gao Zhikai, a former diplomat and the director of the China National Association of International Studies in Beijing.

“China can easily find a replacement for Australian products, but Australia cannot find a market with a size like China,â€� he said.




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