China angrily denies buying political influence in Australia

Mr Turnbull referenced concerns about Chinese influence but said that was not the sole focus

China has reacted furiously to proposed foreign interference laws, accusing the Australian Government of making "irresponsible" comments which have hurt "political mutual trust".

The announcement came as concern grows that Beijing may be extending its influence and as relationships between Australian politicians and Chinese government interests have become increasingly contentious.

Mr Turnbull said the government could not afford to be naive about the threat of foreign interference and stressed the laws were not focused on the loyalties of multicultural Australians.

China has no intention of interfering in Australia's Internal Affairs, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"Foreign powers are making unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process, both here and overseas".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reportedly said that the country's new laws would ban foreign political donations to avoid external interference in domestic politics, citing "disturbing reports about Chinese influence".

The laws would criminalize acts such as Labor Party Sen.

Dastyari was revealed past year to have accepted money from a Chinese businessman.

The Australian newspaper also reported this week that Bill Shorten, the leader of the Labor Party, and other senior party officials were warned by former Chinese security tsar Meng Jianzhu in April that Labor's support from the Chinese community could be influenced if it did not support an extradition treaty with Beijing. This included asking for a Huang-owned company to pay a $1,250 travel bill and giving Huang counter-surveillance advice — saying he and Huang should leave their cellphones inside Huang's house during a meeting past year while walking and talking outside.

Foreign political donations will be banned and those trying to influence Australian politics on behalf of others nations will be forced to declare who they are working for, under new laws.

The definitions of treason and espionage will also be broadened to include possessing or receiving sensitive information, rather than only transmitting it.

Preparing and planning those acts will be criminalised for the first time, as will soliciting anyone to engage in those acts.

Espionage will carry a penalty of up to life in prison.

"That is why we are introducing, because of the gap in those laws, a new offence of unlawful foreign interference", he said.

"They will strengthen our democracy and will ensure that decisions are made based on Australia's national interest, not anyone else's", he said in a statement.

The government is banning foreign political donations, except when they're intended for charities.

Former President Obama's administration a year ago called for the Australian system to be reformed to remove the influence of political donations from China — Australia's largest trading partner and its biggest source of foreign political funds.

However, according to media reports, ASIO might have hinted at the Chinese government, which allegedly influenced groups of Chinese students in Australia and spied on them.

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