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Australia sets up a high-level intelligence task force to counter Chinese interference and espionage 

Canberra/Beijing: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the establishment of high-level intelligence task force emphasising that ‘Any activities against Australia’s interests will be busted’. In the last year, information on China carrying out secret activities in the Australian political, social, economic and educational sectors had repeatedly surfaced. Given the developments, the new task force has been set up with the sole aim of curtailing the Chinese activities, the Australian sources claimed.  

Only last week, Duncan Lewis, former head of Australian intelligence agency, had levelled serious allegations against China stating the country was trying to take over the entire political system in Australia. After that, a Chinese spy exposed how the Chinese government and intelligence agencies were interfering in political and other sectors, in Australia as well as other countries. Following the developments, Australia ordered an investigation into the Chinese communist regime’s activities in the country’s political circles.   

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Now, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has maintained a firm stand against China, delivered a significant jolt to China by setting up the task force. The task force will comprise of all the intelligence agencies in Australia, and an investment of $60 million was announced for the task force. A few months ago, the Australian parliament had passed a law to counter the growing foreign interference that was occurring in its various domestic affairs. The law in which China finds a mention sparked severe reactions. The Chinese Ambassador to Australia and other senior Chinese officials had even issued warnings to the Australian government over bilateral cooperation and trade.  

However, the establishment of the Task Force has made evident the Australian government’s continued aggressive stance without giving in to China’s pressure. While providing details on the new task force, Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned the rising threat of foreign interference to the nation.   

The relations between Australia and China have been severely strained over issues such as trade, the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific. Prime Minister Morrison has taken an open stand against China and warned it that Australia would not tolerate China’s pressure or interference under any circumstances. This has unsettled the Chinese regime, which has been attempting to increase its influence in Australia.  

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