Australian defense minister accuses Beijing of trying to interfere in the election
Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton presented evidence that China is seeking to manipulate the Australian election results, such as the act of “interfering” with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s WeChat account.
Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton
The debate about policy defense ahead of the general election on May 21, when there was a fiery event between Mr. Dutton and his rival Brendan O’Connor of the Labor Party in Canberra May 5th.
According to the newspaper South China Morning Post On May 6, quoting Mr. Dutton, China wanted to support the Labor Party to win the upcoming elections because the government formed by this party would be more “tolerant” of Beijing.
Minister Dutton gives evidence about the account case social network WeChat’s Prime Minister Morrison was hijacked and changed to a propaganda site for China in January.
At the time, about 76,000 followers of Mr Morrison’s WeChat account were informed that the page had been changed to “The New Life of Chinese Australians”. The profile picture is also new, with the description that this is a “provide information” page believe in life for overseas Chinese in Australia”.
Australian MP James Paterson, chair of the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security in the Australian parliament, said Beijing was looking to “enforce censorship beyond its borders and interfere in this country’s democracy”.
According to him, China is targeting Prime Minister Morrison by blocking his ability to contact Chinese Australians by banning the channel on which he communicates most with this community. Mr Paterson also urged Australian politicians to boycott WeChat.
Besides the “evidence” above, Mr. Dutton also mentioned the presence of many Chinese-language newspapers in Australia and expressed skepticism about the actions of the editors of these newspapers. The Australian Defense Minister also said there was some information that China was interfering in the Australian election that he could not make public.
For his part, Mr. O’Connor said that Mr. Dutton’s above evidence was nothing more than a “conspiracy theory”. Mr. O’Connor insisted that the Labor Party always knew China changed and became “more aggressive, aggressive and coercive”.
China has not commented on the latest allegations by Australian officials.
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