Is China Influencing Australian Politics?
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull told an inquiry on February 21 that China is exerting significant influence on Australian politics; yet the government refuses to expose China’s actions.
It is noteworthy that … according to the transparency register there is apparently no organization in Australia that has any association with the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China. … I would love to think that was true, but regrettably I can say absolutely that it is not true. [The] most active state and political party seeking to influence public affairs in Australia is that of China and the Communist Party of China. … The intelligence agencies, security agencies have a very good idea of who’s doing what. I wouldn’t even describe it as covert—it’s pretty blatant operations.
Not so transparent: According to Australia’s Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (fits), introduced in December 2018, every action of an individual or organization intending to influence Australia’s government must be publicly registered. This is to give the people “visibility of the nature, level and extent of foreign influence on Australia’s government and politics.”
fits was intended to single out corrupt foreign influence, such as bribes from Chinese billionaires attempting to change Australian policies and deals that favor China. But four years after its founding, China’s influence operations have managed to remain unofficially recognized. More importantly, they are not being confronted.
It is likely that the legislation will need to be amended to ensure the conduct it was intended to encompass actually falls within the scheme. It will also need much better enforcement options and the resources to back it up.
—James Paterson, Australian senator
The Trumpet said: After an investigation in 2017 revealed that Australia’s political parties were being paid off by Chinese individuals and businesses, the Trumpet’s Australian correspondent wrote, “If our leadership is beholden to China, what hope is there of the government ever taking meaningful steps to counter China’s rising influence?”
This rising Chinese influence was prophesied in the Bible. It will continue to grow, and it is prophesied to gravely affect Australia and some of its closest allies. To understand more, read “Australian Politicians Accepting Chinese Money” and Russia and China in Prophecy.