Chinese state media have said Australia is stepping up its spy efforts against Beijing while diplomatic relations are under heavy pressure.
The management of the Chinese Communist Party Global Times A tabloid accuses Australia of carrying out an increasingly intense spy offensive by sending spies to China.
He also claims that Australia is causing defections, spying on Chinese students and spreading “fake news” to the media to raise theories about Chinese espionage.
The story, based on an anonymous source from a Chinese law enforcement agency, says that Australia tried to install metal taps at the Chinese embassy in Canberra.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison avoided addressing the issue directly when asked about it.
“I would not count on the Chinese state media for your sources of questions,” he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
the Global Times published photos of “spy equipment”, including a compass, USB drive, laptop, mask, gloves and a Shanghai map, allegedly seized from arrested Australian agents.
The public newspaper warned that Chinese agencies would take a tougher stance on Australian espionage operations.
Liberal MP and former diplomat Dave Sharma hinted that the report lacked credibility.
“This is a classic disinformation campaign designed to cloud the waters,” he said. Sky News Monday.
It comes days after a raid by a member of the New South Wales upper house was raided by ASIO and federal police over allegations that Chinese agents had infiltrated in his office.
Shaoquett Moselmane was suspended from the Labor Party last week and faces a suspension from Parliament.
In his first public comments since the raids, Moselmane said he was not a suspect in the investigation.
“I did not do anything wrong. I have never endangered our country, “he said.
Crossbench Senator Rex Patrick, who lobbied for a parliamentary inquiry into Chinese influence, said state policy was seen as a weakness in the system.
“I note that in New South Wales they do not have laws that deal with foreign influence and that may be one of the great lessons that must be learned,” he said. told the ABC.
“The Chinese state is very aware of the (federal) aspirations in the political field that start in the jurisdiction of the state and this is where it targets things.”
Senator Patrick said there is no question that Australia is “spying” abroad.
“I think the difference from the concerns here in Australia is that the Chinese are committed to influencing Australian politics and that is something that is a bit unusual.”