Over the past year, both the Australian and New Zealand governments have faced reports that the Chinese government has gained influence within their political systems, universities, and media markets. So far only Canberra has responded firmly. Australia’s domestic intelligence agency [ASIO] wrote in its annual report to parliament this year that it believed foreign governments are trying to extend their influence (pdf) into Australian society, posing “a threat to our sovereignty, the integrity of our national institutions and the exercise of our citizens’ rights.”
Beijing’s influence campaign within Australian and New Zealand domestic politics also may be a sign of the future. For more on China’s apparent influence strategy in Australia and New Zealand, and its relevance to Beijing’s increasingly assertive attempts to wield power within other states, read my new Expert Brief.