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Australia spying on Chinese embassy, monitoring citizens: Daily

IANS | Beijing Jun 29, 2017 01:54 PM IST

A leading Chinese daily on Thursday accused the Australian government of spying on its embassy and "harassing" Chinese people in Australia to provide intelligence.

The state-run Global Times, citing an official of China's National Security Department, said Australia's agents in disguise were trying to get close to Chinese people working or living overseas to collect information or even encourage them to subvert China.

"In global covert struggles, Australia had never played the role of victim. However, they are wantonly working on intelligence about China and groundlessly accusing China of spying on them. The logic is ridiculous," the official told the daily.

"Meanwhile, in the name of avoiding 'Chinese spy threats', Australian intelligence operatives are closely monitoring Chinese people and the Chinese Embassy in Australia," the report said.

It further said that "many Chinese people have been interviewed or harassed by Australian intelligence and are being required to provide information on Chinese communities and the Chinese embassy.

"Some of the Chinese people were even sent back to China to gather information," it said.

The unidentified official told the daily that "Australia has also been stealing Chinese technology".

The National Security Department "found many eavesdropping devices at the embassy", which prompted the Chinese government to renovate its mission, the employee told the Global Times.

Australian National University Professor and intelligence and international relations expert John Blaxland said the claims would raise diplomatic tensions.

"A generalised accusation of espionage, without a specific case to present as evidence... suggests this is not much more than a shot across the Australian diplomatic bow," he told The Australian daily.

Blaxland said it was a "predicable" response to Australian media reports of allegations of Chinese intelligence activities in the country.

--IANS

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