China hits back at claims of 'secretly infiltrating' Australia

China hits back at claims of 'secretly infiltrating' Australia

China and Australia flags
A woman holds Chinese (L) and Australian national flags as she waits to catch a glimpse of China's President Xi Jinping as he drives by during the G20 Summit in the Australian city of Brisbane on November 16, 2014. (Photo: AFP / GREG WOOD)

SINGAPORE: An investigation by Australian media claiming that China was attempting to exert its influence in the country has been slammed by Beijing, according to a report on Monday (Jun 5) by the Global Times.

China's foreign ministry said the claim by a joint Fairfax Media-ABC investigation that China was "secretly infiltrating" Australia is baseless, according to the report.

"There is no basis for the related claim, which is extremely irresponsible and isn't worth refuting," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as saying when she was asked to comment on the issue at a press conference on Monday.

"China urges related Australian media to abide by professional ethics of journalism, discard ideological bias, and do objective and fair reports on China's development and Sino-Australian ties," Hua added, according to the report.

The Global Times said some of the Chinese students in Australia that it interviewed "were not so surprised" by the Australian media report, but added that they doubted the facts and were not aware of such a situation.

The Australian programme which was released on Monday said Beijing is active in Australia across a wide span of areas, from Chinese-linked donations to Australian politicians to threats to Australia-based Chinese dissidents and involvement with Chinese student associations. 

The five-month long investigation was said to have uncovered how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was "secretly infiltrating Australia".

Source: CNA/mn