BEIJING – China says Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is undermining mutual trust with remarks accusing foreign powers of seeking to influence the country’s political process.
Turnbull on Tuesday said foreign interference in politics would be outlawed under updated treason and espionage laws.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Thursday told reporters that Turnbull’s remarks were “full of bias against China” and had poisoned the atmosphere of China-Australia relations.
Turnbull’s announcement came as a U.S. investigation into alleged election meddling by Russia continues and follows concerns about Chinese money and influence in Australian politics.
China is Australia’s largest trading partner and its biggest source of foreign political funds. Australian law has never distinguished between donors from Australia and overseas.