8 September 2020
Independent South Australian Senator Rex Patrick today called on the Australian Government to end the presence in Australia of Chinese state-controlled media organisations.
"Given the forced departure of last two Australian journalists from mainland China, the Australian Government should end the presence in Australia of the Chinese state-controlled Xinhua News Agency," Senator Patrick said.
"If Australian journalists can no longer safely report from China, then it appears quite inappropriate for Australia to tolerate the Chinese Communist Party’s leading propaganda outlet having a presence here."
The Xinhua News Agency was first allowed to post representatives to Australia in 1973 on the basis of an agreement for reciprocal Australian media representation in China. Xinhau is a state news agency that operates in accordance with the Chinese Communist Party propaganda directives. It is described as ‘the eyes and tongue of the Party’.
There have been numerous cases worldwide of Xinhau offices providing cover for Chinese state-controlled espionage and political interference activities.
"In the current circumstances it is inappropriate to allow Xinhau to maintain a presence in Australia and the Australian Government should take the necessary action to bring is operations here to a halt," Senator Patrick said.