China issues angry response to Australian political influence accusations

China issues angry response to Australian political influence accusations

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The Australian media has "repeatedly fabricated" stories about Chinese influence and infiltration in Australia, China has claimed. Taken together, the statements indicate China sees new laws proposed by the Coalition to crack down on foreign interference and create a register of foreign agents as directed at it, according to The Guardian.

In a statement released on Wednesday the Chinese embassy said that reports about "so-called Chinese influence and infiltration in Australia … were made up out of thin air and filled with cold war mentality and ideological bias" and were "paranoid". Debate in Australia about Chinese influence has been sparked by a recording that surfaced last week in which Labor senator, Sam Dastyari, can be heard contradicting his party's position on the South China Sea, as well as the revelation that he tipped off a Chinese political donor, Huang Xiangmo, that his phone was probably being tapped by security agencies.