BEIJING: China has never interfered in other countries' affairs nor does it have any interest in doing so, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday (Nov 6), in response to Australia charging the first person under its foreign interference law.
Wang Wenbin, spokesman with the ministry, was speaking to reporters at a regular news briefing in Beijing.
Australian police said a Melbourne man who appeared in court on Thursday was the first person charged with foreign interference under new legislation introduced in 2018.
The person holds senior positions in a number of Chinese community associations in the state of Victoria, including the Oceania Federation of Chinese Australians, and the Chinese Museum, according to organisation records seen by Reuters, websites and press statements.
According to Australian police, Di Sanh Duong has a relationship with a foreign intelligence agency. Police would not name the country, but the legislation largely targets China's growing influence.
Last month, China announced "espionage" charges against Australian citizen and academic Yang Hengjun.
Yang is one of several foreign nationals arrested in China on allegations of spying in recent years.
Australian Cheng Lei, an anchor for China's English-language state broadcaster CGTN, was detained and is accused of "criminal activities endangering China's national security".
Two other Australian reporters - Bill Birtles and Michael Smith - fled China shortly after Cheng's detention, also fearing arrest.