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IPAN Statement on interference in the internal affairs of Australia

The escalating tensions between US and China are directly impacting on Australia militarily, economically and politically and threaten to drag Australia into another imperialist war, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. IPAN calls for an independent foreign policy from all big powers, and that includes independence from both China and US; an independent foreign policy that promotes friendship with people from all countries.

Recently we have been subjected to sensational mass media stories alleging interference in Australian politics by China. Some, like the recent headlines in Fairfax media repeating a claim by an ex ASIO chief that “China is out to take over our political system”, are clearly a gross exaggeration if not a straight out lie. Even if there is truth in the allegation that an individual was feted and supported to try and enter Federal Parliament as a “proxy” of the Chinese Government, and that is a matter of concern, it hardly constitutes a take-over of Parliament or our political system.

All big powers, and smaller ones like Australia, engage in espionage with the aim of gaining sensitive information and influencing the policies of other countries.

The Australian Government is no exception to this rule. It bugged the Cabinet room of the East Timorese Government to obtain inside information and thus gain the upper hand in negotiations with East Timor over access to East Timorese off- shore oil. This espionage worked to the advantage of Oil Corporations operating out of Australia. Whistle-blowers who exposed it are being subjected to harassment and criminal charges which are currently being heard in the courts and, if convicted, face the prospect of lengthy prison sentences.

Whilst justifiably calling out China for interference in Australian politics, the media and the two main parliamentary parties have failed to identify the big power which already wields a huge influence politically and militarily in Australia by ensuring that the major parties remain totally committed to the US-Australia Alliance. Through the US-Australia Leadership Dialogue, the U.S. fetes and trains politicians, trade union leaders and business leaders in support of the US-Australia Alliance and is considered by some as a “central institution” in maintaining the US-Australia relationship. Questioning the role of the US military bases and CIA operatives in Australia under that alliance was a major factor behind the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor Government on 11th November,1975. This major interference in Australia’s political system by a foreign power, the United States, was confirmed by the President of the United States in an apology made to Whitlam in 1977.

IPAN is campaigning for an Independent Foreign Policy for Australia from all big powers and this means distancing ourselves from the war policies of the United States, ending the stationing of US military bases in Australia and opposing interference in Australia’s political and economic system by any foreign powers and that includes China and the United States; an Independent Australian Foreign Policy that promotes friendship with people of all countries.

Independent and Peaceful Australia Network

Contacts: website: https://www.ipan.org.au; Victoria: ipan.victoria1@gmail.com

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