Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday defended it’s government’s right to intelligence raids to prevent foreign interference. This, after China condemned searches on the homes of its journalists working in Australia.
Dutton declined to directly confirm that the Chinese journalists were questioned by Australia’s intelligence agency in June. He said that an investigation was still underway, but said there was some “activity” by the country’s intelligence agency.
“Where (the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) has sufficient grounds for the execution of a search warrant, or for activities otherwise, then they’ll undertake that activity,” Dutton said on the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) television.
“If people are masquerading as journalists or business leaders or whoever they might be, and there’s evidence that they are acting in a contrary nature to Australian law, then …. (the) agencies will act.”
Relations between Australia and its top trading partner China have been deteriorating gradually over the recent years and have soured further this year after Canberra called for an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus, angering Beijing.