Nov 30, 2017

Dastyari’s demotion puts increasingly exposed China lobby on notice

Sam Dastyari's fate is a warning from Australia's intelligence agencies to the China Lobby: get too close to Beijing and you'll be exposed.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Australia's intelligence agencies, with the encouragement and facilitation of the government, have sent a clear signal to the China lobby active in Australian public affairs: you and your connections to the Chinese regime are being monitored and you will publicly exposed if you embrace Beijing too closely.

The savaging of Labor's Sam Dastyari, who was sacked from his Senate committee and deputy whip positions overnight by Bill Shorten, is serving as an exemplary punishment for any figures in politics who are close to mainland Chinese figures. And especially those tempted to take an overly Sinophilic approach to key issues of policy, as Dastyari did -- and appeared to do quite deliberately, not as a kind of misspeaking accident he portrayed it as.

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