The Prime Minister has confirmed reports that ASIO has evidence of links between the Chinese government and Australian political candidates.
Campaigning in Bennelong, the Prime Minister was commenting on a report in the Weekend Australian that ASIO has identified around 10 candidates in State and Local government elections with close ties to Chinese intelligence Services.
It comes as China lodged a complaint with Australia after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced new laws on foreign influence.
Earlier in the week Malcolm Turnbull said foreign powers were making sophisticated attempts to influence the political process.
He cited “disturbing reports about Chinese influence”.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said he was “shocked” at what Turnbull had said.
Malcolm Turnbull denied claims that he feels bullied or intimidated by China’s complaint, instead focusing on Labor’s Sam Dastyari links to China.
‘This is a man who not only delivered China’s talking points on the South China Sea after he had had his debts paid off by a Chinese benefactor… He has provoked nothing other than contempt, and then of course, providing counter-surveillance tips to his benefactor.
‘Dastyari should be out of the Senate.’