Australia stands firm against China and puts security first, by Paul Kelly.
It now seems certain that in an act of Coalition-Labor bipartisanship, the Australian parliament will pass path-breaking laws to protect our institutions and democracy from new forms of foreign interference in a warning to China and other authoritarian powers.
This bipartisan agreement finalised late this week is a milestone for our national security and foreign policy. It recognises that in the age of the internet, democracies are vulnerable to a new threat — interference by foreign targeting of media, politics, finance, confidential data and ethnic communities.
The likely win for the Turnbull government on these laws is tantamount to a statement of Australian resilience. Above all, it is a declaration Australia has the psychological determination, national capability and political unity required to defend itself against unprecedented threats to our democracy and decision-making. …
Australia’s response has regional and global significance. It is a close US ally with a significant Chinese population, more heavily dependent on trade with China than any industrial nation and a member of the Five Eyes intelligence community. The decision to pass new laws — with more almost certain to follow — is being watched in Washington and will be absorbed in the region. It is, ultimately, a test of Australian sovereignty and maturity.
hat-tip Stephen Neil