China has issued three veiled threats to Australia to get an extradition treaty passed, reports say - SupChina

China has issued three veiled threats to Australia to get an extradition treaty passed, reports say

Part of the daily SupChina newsletter. Subscribe for free

China is lobbying hard for Australia to pass a long-awaited extradition treaty, which was signed in 2007 and set for implementation this year, but stalled in March amid internal political opposition. The Australian reports (paywall) that since March, Chinese officials have issued three veiled threats to Australian Labor Party (ALP) leaders, indicating that the Chinese community in Australia will consider ALP hostile to China if the extradition treaty does not eventually pass.

  • In March, Labor leaders met with the Chinese ambassador to Australia, and “support for the party in the Australian Chinese community was mentioned during the meeting.”
  • On April 22, then-Chinese security tsar Meng Jianzhu 孟建柱 reportedly “said it would be a shame if Chinese government representatives had to tell the Chinese community in Australia that Labor did not support the relationship between Australia and China.”
  • China has reiterated this message in recent days through meetings between Bill Shorten, ALP leader, and opposition politicians, who delivered a “warning from Beijing that Labor’s support in the Chinese community could be influenced” if the extradition treaty was not supported.

Other China news from Down Under:

  • AFP reports that Australian politicians are set to pass “laws to deal with foreign political meddling.” This comes on the heels of an ALP politician resigning his leadership roles after the extent of his controversial Chinese connections was revealed, and also an investigation by Australian media that found, “despite being cautioned, both the Liberals and Labor continued accepting substantial sums of cash” from Chinese interests.
  • The New York Times describes (paywall) a fierce debate on alignment to the U.S. and/or China by Australia, as the country officially holds that America can remain a reliable partner to the country for the foreseeable future, but many academics dispute this.

Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.