Select Australian policies, decisions, and statements that aggravate China

Human rights

  • Criticisms of ethnic and religious minority policies across China, especially in Xinjiang, Tibet, and regions with large minority populations
  • Criticisms of the abrogation of Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms and the heavy-handed use of martial force
  • Criticisms of the suppression of freedom of speech and other fundamental human rights throughout China

Regional security

  • Australia’s proactive and continued articulated opposition to China’s expansive and legally untenable maritime claims in the South China Sea
  • Deeper exchange and cooperation among Quad countries on a range of political, diplomatic, economic, and strategic fronts
  • The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) regular presence in the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and East China Sea

National security

  • Legislation and policies to combat foreign interference in Australian politics and society, including counterintelligence and transparency measures
  • The raiding of Chinese journalists in Australia in June 2018 and the cancelling of Chinese scholars’ visas on security grounds in September 2018
  • The Australian federal government’s vetoing of the Victorian state’s BRI agreements via the Foreign Relations Act 2020


  • Adverse ministerial and Foreign Investment Review Board decisions regarding investments from Chinese companies
  • The role national security considerations in the evaluation of foreign investments, especially in the infrastructure and agricultural sectors
  • The exclusion of Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE as vendors for the construction of Australia’s 5G network in 2018


  • Publicly and unilaterally calling for an inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic at a time of intense domestic and international pressure on the Chinese government
  • Seeking publicly to generate international support for an inquiry in the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in multilateral organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Calling for weapons inspector-style powers for WHO investigators