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(Global Times) Australia should indeed be anxious if it regards all the millions of Chinese staying in Australia as spies, the Chinese foreign ministry said Thursday in response to Australia listing China as an "extreme threat."|
"If some people in Australia regard millions of people who travel back and forth between China and Australia and Chinese living in Australia as spies, there is no wonder they may feel nervous," ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a daily briefing on Thursday.
Hua's remarks came in response to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization listing China as an extreme threat on a supposedly secret country-by-country counter-intelligence index.
The organization's threat index had five levels: negligible, low, medium, high and extreme. China topped the list as the most extreme threat to national security, 9news.com.au, an Australia-based news website reported on Wednesday.
"It is more like the ruling party of Australia is making use of the issue to gain a reputation for safeguarding national security before the election and so it selected a rising China as a target," Han Feng, professor and deputy director-general at the National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.
"Australia also raised this issue to ease US worries on Australia's ties with China. And it also wants to urge the US to maintain Western countries' leading role in the world," Han said.
Australia's anxious attitude toward China will last for "a period of time" after the foreign policy white paper issued in November last year and the US 2018 National Defense Strategy published in January, he said.