Prominent Australian opposition lawmaker quits over claims of China links

By REUTERS
December 12, 2017 02:41
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Prominent Australian opposition Senator Sam Dastyari said on Tuesday he would resign from parliament after a series of allegations emerged about his links with Chinese-aligned interests in Australia.

Relations between Australia and China have become strained since Canberra announced last week it would ban foreign political donations as part of a crackdown aimed at preventing external influence in domestic politics.



In announcing the ban, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull specifically singled out China, citing "disturbing reports about Chinese influence."



China hit back, with the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily describing media reports about Chinese interference as "racist" and "paranoid."



Dastyari, widely viewed as a rising star of the center-left Labor opposition party, has been under fire since domestic media reported he had sought to encourage the party's deputy leader not to meet a Chinese pro-democracy activist opposed to Beijing's rule in Hong Kong in 2015.

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