Sunday, April 7, 2019

Interference: China's covert political influence campaign in Australia.


New evidence of China's covert political influence campaign in Australia.
"We've had multiple briefings at the top-secret level from ASIO and other agencies that foreign interference is being conducted in Australia at an unprecedented level." Federal Intelligence and Security Committee member.
In 2017, Four Corners, in a joint investigation with The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, revealed the lengths the Chinese Communist Party was going to, to influence Australia's politicians. In response, the federal government passed new laws to ban foreign interference.
"Political systems and parties just took what they could for as long as they could get away with it." Former prime ministerial adviser.
Now, in a new investigation, the joint reporting team can reveal fresh and compelling evidence of covert Beijing-backed political activity taking place in Australia.
"Chinese foreign policy is now following a much more assertive and, in some cases, aggressive approach." China analyst.
The investigation has uncovered secret information gathering operations targeting sensitive Australian intelligence analysis. And despite the new laws, there is evidence that Australian politicians have not listened to the warnings issued by Australia's own intelligence agencies.
"The Chinese Communist Party has sought to use all sorts of vehicles to have non-transparent mechanisms, means of influencing the politics in Australia and elsewhere." Former prime ministerial adviser.
Politicians are not the only ones receiving Beijing's attention. The investigation will reveal how Chinese authorities are stifling dissenting voices by targeting members of the Chinese-Australian community who fail to toe the party line.
"There is always a red line that everyone is actually quite afraid of crossing...because of repercussions from the Chinese consulate or the Chinese government." Newspaper publisher.
Interference, reported by Nick McKenzie, goes to air on Monday 8th April at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 9th April at 1.00pm and Wednesday 10th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at 

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