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Foreign affairs expert agrees with Andrew Hastie over ‘Nazi Germany’ China warning

Politicians and foreign affairs experts are calling on the Australian government to take the threat of China more seriously.

In a column in The Age today, Liberal MP and chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Andrew Hastie, has warned that ignoring China’s threatening actions today is on par with ignoring the emergence of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Dr Clive Hamilton, public ethics expert and author of ‘Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia’, agrees with Mr Hastie.

“I think we’ve been quite complacent in Australia,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“Many of us haven’t quite recognised the larger picture of China’s aggressive behaviour around the world, particularly in the South China Sea where they have seized those islands and build military bases on them.

“We’ve seen a big military build up, we’ve seen all the elements of, let’s face it, a fascist power.

“We are facing an aggressive power which wants to dominate the region.”

Dr Hamilton is critical of the Victorian government for engaging with China.

“The Andrews government last year signed up to the belt and road agreement, which the federal government explicitly said no to,” he said.

This morning it emerged that the family of a Chinese student studying at a Queensland university has been threatened by Chinese authorities after the student took part in a protest supporting Hong Kong.

Dr Hamilton called on Australia to send a message of defiance to China.

“We’ve got some strong legislation which needs to be enforced, the foreign interference legislation,” he said.

“We also really need to make it clear to Beijing that while we want to have a good, strong, sustainable economic relationship, we are not going to sacrifice our sovereignty or our independence, and that starts with the language.

“We need to state firmly where the red lines are and stick to them.”

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