China accuses Australian media of racism
Beijing has accused the Australian media of "paranoid" and "racist" reporting on China, amid growing concerns in Australia over Chinese interference.
"[We] suggest the Australian government and the media that they should uphold the principle of truth from facts and reject political prejudices and paranoia when handling relations with China," according to an op-ed in the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, on Monday.
It added Australia's current reporting and "racial paranoia tarnished Australia's image as a multicultural society".Trump 'not considering' firing Mueller
The op-ed also accused the Australian media of slandering thousands of overseas Chinese who live and study in Australia, and fabricating stories about Chinese students interfering with free speech on Australian campuses and Beijing's interference in local politics.
"China has no intention of interfering in Australia's internal affairs and has no intention of influencing Australia's political process through political contributions," it said.
The article comes after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week said his government took "very seriously" media reports that the Chinese Communist Party had attempted to influence Australian media, universities and politics.Bethlehem peace light arrives in Germany
He also said his government would introduce new laws to ban foreign political donations.
After China reproached Canberra for his remarks, the prime minister doubled down on his criticism of Beijing.
"There has been foreign interference in Australian politics, plainly," Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Saturday..South Africa's ANC to elect new leader
Fears of Chinese interference have been revived in recent weeks, after opposition senator Sam Dastyari was demoted following revelations he tipped off a Chinese businessman that his phone was being tapped by intelligence agencies.