In the latest installment to the China-Australia cold war, China summoned Australia’s ambassador in order to lodge a formal complaint against the allegations made by Canberra last week.
The drama began when Canberra made an announcement last week, stating it would soon ban all foreign political donations as part of a new initiative to prevent external influence in the country’s politics.
Additionally, the statement made allusions to China being one of the key suspects in the foreign influence game.
Speaking at the time, Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull stated that China was one of the key foreign powers that was making “unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process” in the country.
The statement immediately raised a red flag with China and spurred it into retaliation. China summoned Australia’s ambassador in China, Jan Adams to a meeting at the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue on December 8.
In its statement made last week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that the allegations made by Australia were full of prejudice.
It added that the statements were baseless and had poisoned the relationship shared between the two countries.
Turnbull’s statement also received some criticism from the opposing Labor Party which stated that the Prime Minister’s word were “anti-China”. The opposition believes that Turnbull’s accusations would have far reaching consequences on the trade between the countries.
Since China is Australia’s biggest trading partner, the opposition’s fears are well founded. However, Turnbull has denied the allegations and stated that this statements were completely unbiased.
However, the complaint lodged by China proves that the opposing Labor Party isn’t the only one that believes Turnbull has crossed a line.