According to news sent out by Chinese media, intelligence officials in Australia raised the residence of Chinese journalists. The incident happened during late June due to increased tensions between trading partners.
According to the Global Times, the journalists were interrogated. Further, their phones and laptops seized. The report was given by a source related to the matter but didn’t disclose his name.
Chinese journalists raided by Australian Intelligence
Xinhua News of China had shared a similar article. Further, the China News Service informed that the Australian police interrogated the homes of four journalists from three different Chinese media agencies on June 26. The outcome was that they didn’t do anything wrong.
The request to comment on the reports from the department of Australia’s foreign affairs and trade went unanswered initially. It came out after China confirmed that Australian TV anchor Cheng Lei was kept on hold. He was one of the suspects of state security violations. He was raided a few hours after two correspondents from Chinese media outlets had fled from Australia. They had been later detained and informed about the same to Australia.
On one end, these issues highlight the growing political pressure of foreign press corporations working in China. Also, they underscore fraying ties between Canberra and Beijing. This came after PM Scott Morrison summoned an independent investigator to get allowance into Wuhan to research the origin of coronavirus.
Australia has been under constant tussle due to diplomatic moves interpreted by China. They believe that Australia supports the USA in expanding security and trade disputes between Washington and Beijing. Media is the only latest industry to be swept out in the battle – more so since China reduced and launched trade actions against the import of beef, barley, and wine from Australia.
A lawmaker based out in Sydney got his house and office raided by the intelligence team of Australia on June 26. It was the same day when the raids happened to Chinese journos. Shaoquett Moselmane, the New South Wales state lawmaker, said that the charge was linked. People interrogated were allegedly advancing missions set by the Chinese government and refused to be suspects.