Australia to ban foreign interference in politics

By on December 5, 2017


Australia fully supports a US strike on Syria's airfield near Homs, the country's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Friday, adding that it was "a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response. (Photo by DFAT/Timothy Tobing [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)])
FILE: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Photo by DFAT/Timothy Tobing, CC BY 2.0)
SYDNEY, Australia — Australia will ban foreign interference in its politics, motivated largely by Russia’s alleged involvement in last year’s U.S. election and China’s growing influence on world politics.

As a U.S. investigation into election meddling from Russia continues, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday that foreign influence on politics would be outlawed under treason and espionage laws.

Turnbull told reporters that foreign powers were making unprecedented and sophisticated attempts to influence the political process in Australia and elsewhere.

He added in a statement that Australia must “withstand attempts by foreign powers to interfere or influence.”

The laws would criminalize acts such as Labor Party senator Sam Dastyari’s soliciting of a donation from a Chinese businessman, for which he was recently demoted to the opposition backbench.