Canberra/Beijing: The former head of Australian intelligence levelled severe accusations against China, saying that its government was attempting to take complete control over the Australian political system with insidious operations. Any person in the Australian government could be a target of the crooked Chinese policies, and it may take decades to realise the effects of the actions, former Director-General of ‘Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)’ Duncan Lewis warned.
Over the past few months, the relations between Australia and China have been increasingly strained over various issues ranging from trade, the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken an open stand of opposing China warning that Australia would not tolerate any pressure or interference from the nation under any circumstances. It has thus caused the Chinese regime, trying to increase China’s influence in Australia for the last few years, to become extremely agitated.
In the last few years, China has taken steps to grow its clout all over the world, with the ambition of becoming a superpower. They include the use of its trade and economic might as also of media and social media along with espionage. Discontent over China’s interference in Australia has been rising for the last few years, and political leaders, analysts, intelligence officials and even the government agencies have consistently cautioned about it. The warning issued by Lewis has also been issued to that effect.
Duncan Lewis, former chief of ‘Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’ candidly warned of the Chinese threat saying, ‘The Chinese agencies intend to place themselves in a position of advantage in Australia’s media, business, social and political circles. Foreign interference and espionage are the tools employed to achieve the objective, which amounts to a breach of trust. The effects may not be visible right away but may appear after a few decades by that time it will be too late. One day the people of Australia will wake up and find decisions made in the country that are not in the interest of the country.’
The Chinese circles expressed the country’s shock at the re-election of Scott Morrison, of the Liberal party as the Prime Minister in the Australian elections a few months ago. Moreover, after that, the Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye last month warned the Australian government that they should be mindful of China’s progress as also China-Australia trade and economic cooperation were the significant factors contributing towards Australia’s economic growth.
On the sidelines of the developments, the warning issued by the former Director-General of ASIO was indicative of the tensions between the two countries inflaming further.