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The Chinese Communist party-state, under Xi Jinping, has stepped up efforts to gain influence in Australian politics and society and interfere with Australia’s democratic institutions and outcomes, often through covert and manipulative means. Revelations in recent years of Beijing’s attempts to buy political access and influence, manipulate elite opinion, and co-opt universities and the Chinese diaspora community-led Australia to push back against China’s interference efforts, even in the face of Beijing’s economic threats and retaliation.

In this report, Dr. Amy Searight examines the evolution of Beijing’s playbook of interference efforts in Australia, the democratic traits that made Australia vulnerable to these malign influence activities, as well as the democratic strengths that led to Australia’s robust and wide-ranging policy response.

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