Malcolm Turnbull accused of 'China-phobia'

Warren Entsch hugs Malcolm Turnbull after the Parliament passed the same-sex marriage bill

Australia's peak domestic intelligence service believes that 10 recent political candidates for local and state governments have links to Chinese intelligence agencies.

A scheme to insert people in the right places to influence Australian politics, while described as "patchy but deep", has caused concern for ASIO, the Weekend Australian reports.

"We are astounded by the relevant remarks of the Australian leader".

The majority of the candidates who are thought to have close ties with Chinese intelligence and China's ruling Communist Party were involved in council elections.

The reports said that ASIO's concerns are focused around Western Sydney.

'I sincerely advise Australian universities to pay more attention to their quality of education and stop treating Chinese students as a cash machine, ' Beijing-based journalist Lilly Wang wrote on Wednesday.

"In Australia, it seems there's no limitation at all, the Chinese do it publicly", Chen Yonglin said. Australian law has never distinguished between donors from Australia and overseas. "They are braver than their activity in the US", he said.

An editorial in the Global Times - a pro-Chinese Communist Party newspaper - also says universities have done little to help students integrate into Australian culture.

China said on Friday it had lodged a complaint with Australia after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, said he took reports very seriously that China's Communist Party had sought to interfere in his country.

'That they politically support the Chinese government does not equate them to being spies'.

"Sam Dastyari is a classic case and the real question is why is Bill Shorten allowing him to stay in the Labor Party, stay in the Senate, when he clearly does not put Australia first? he said".

"They are trying to intimidate us and what we have to understand is the reports of Chinese infiltration and attempts to manoeuvre and manipulate Australian politics and Australian political debate are legitimate", Dr Davis said.

The federal government has called on Dastyari to resign because he allegedly warned Chinese Communist Party-linked Huang Xiangmo that his phone was likely being tapped by intelligence services, including those of the USA government.

Senior Turnbull government ministers zeroed in on the New South Wales Senator after leaked audio suggested he defended Beijing's controversial South China Sea policy in defiance of Labor's position.

Following China's response to PM Turnbull's take on foreign interference issues, ABC cited Defense analyst Malcolm Davis, from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute as saying that Beijing was trying to intimidate Australia by complaining about references to its interference in Australia's political process.

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