Australia and China are at loggerheads over Beijing's attempt to influence politics Down Under.
Last week a prominent Australian lawmaker was forced out amid accusations about his involvement with Beijing, and, earlier this week, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cited "disturbing reports about Chinese influence" while announcing proposals to clamp down on foreign meddling in domestic politics.
"Foreign powers are making unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process," Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday. The leader's proposals include banning donations from overseas.
The Chinese embassy in Australia released a retaliatory statement on Wednesday, saying that "China has no intention to interfere in Australia's internal affairs or exert influence on its political process through political donations."
The statement urged Australia to reevaluate its relationship with China in "an objective, fair and rational manner," warning against "irresponsible remarks to the detriment of political mutual trust" between the two countries.
Earlier this year, local media reported on a supposed campaign by China to influence Australian domestic politics and thereby promote its own agenda.