As reported by the Global Times – a Chinese government-controlled paper – Australia has been conducting espionage investigations into suspected Chinese agents operating in Australia.
On September 9, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said that Australian intelligence agencies raided the homes of four Chinese journalists living in Australia in June. The four individuals represented Chinese state news agencies including Xinhua News Agency, China Central Radio, state broadcaster CCTV, and China News Agency. Zhao’s revelation was the first report of the incident. It came one day after Australia evacuated two of its citizens, also journalists, from China after they were aggressively questioned by Chinese police and told Australian diplomatic authorities that they feared detention, Breitbart reported.
Australia’s trade minister revealed that the June raids were carried out by agencies acting “on evidence related to a foreign interference investigation.” On September 13, Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the intelligence services suspected the four Chinese individuals of posing as journalists.Breitbart
“If people are masquerading as journalists or business leaders or whoever they might be, and there’s evidence that they are acting in a contrary nature to Australian law, then ASIO [the Australian Security Intelligence Organization] and the Australian Federal Police and other agencies will act,” the interior minister said.Breitbart
The Global Times author warned “If Canberra does not alter its tough China policy, if it carries out more absurd practices, it cannot rule out the possibility that China will make more robust countermeasures, and send a severe warning to Australia.”