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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 436 asked in the Legislative Council on 12 June 2018 by Hon Charles Smith

Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 12 June 2018

      436. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Leader of the House representing the Premier:
I refer to recent media reports about the Premier's visit to China, in which the Premier was quoted as saying —
      ''The Australian Government's language needs to be more friendly, more engaged, more respectful and certainly there needs to be more visits by senior Australian political figures to China.''
I refer also to a recent federal report indicating that the Chinese government has attempted to influence Australia's political system for over a decade.
      (1) Is it the state government's view that Canberra should remain silent and not act against such interference in order to avoid upsetting Beijing?
      (2) Has the Premier or any state government minister sought further information from the commonwealth government on the extent of Chinese interference in Australia's political system, including in Western Australia?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
      (1) It is the state government's view that a strong relationship with China is not mutually exclusive from maintaining our sovereignty. As the Premier has said in the media, we want to see a continued strong relationship with China for the economic benefit of the people of Western Australia. As the member would be aware, many thousands of local jobs are underpinned by our trade relationship. The Premier is keen for governments at all levels in Australia to foster close relationships with China.
      (2) The Western Australian government is in contact with national security agencies as and when required.