How China’s “sharp power” is muting criticism abroad

January 31, 2018 By The Economist, Sharp Power

OVER the past year Australia has been gripped by a tale of suspicion, subversion and spooks. In the latest chapter Sam Dastyari, a Labor Party politician of Iranian extraction, resigned from parliament on December 12th. A recording had emerged of him urging Australia to “respect” China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, contradicting the policy of both the government and his own party, and confirming earlier allegations against him. He also tried to stop his party’s foreign-affairs spokesperson meeting a pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong. A year earlier he had been forced to leave his opposition post, after revelations that he had taken money from Huang Xiangmo, a Chinese businessman with apparent links to the Chinese Communist Party, at the same time as he supported China’s territorial claims.[Source]

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