China’s ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, has hit out at the ABC and Fairfax over a joint Four Corners report on China’s influence in Australia.
He said at an Australia China Business Council networking day in Parliament House in Canberra that the report’s producers aimed to “instigate China panic”.
Mr Cheng said the allegations were groundless and those reporting them were attempting to render them true by repeating them.
He said in China, this is called cooking “up the overnight cold rice”
Meanwhile Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke at the Australia China Business Council event this morning, applauding the efforts of the council to deepen the relationship between the two countries.
“This bilateral relationship between Australia and China is growing stronger day by day,” she said. “It is multifaceted, although our economic ties are a standout.
“In 2015 – 2016 the trading of goods and services between our countries was almost $150 billion. To place these figures in their proper context, more than 22 cents in every dollar of global trade we conducted in that financial year was with China.”
Ms Bishop said Chinese investment in Australia was valued at about $87 billion and highlighted the presence of Chinese students at Australian universities, Australian New Colombo Plan scholars attending universities in China, Chinese tourists visiting Australia, and the value the Chinese market for the Australian book publishing and art industries as examples of the strength of the trade relationship.