Major business lobby warns against "protectionism" of Aussie foreign transparency scheme

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-06 11:58:12|Editor: Liangyu
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CANBERRA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- A proposed Australian Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme will cripple business ties with China, a leading business lobby has warned.

The Australia China Business Council (ACBC), which represents the interests of Australian companies doing business in China, recently expressed its concern over the bill in a submission to a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

"We must take care not to compromise the overwhelmingly positive business, NGO and cultural relationships Australia enjoys with China and the rest of the world," John Brumby, president of the council and former Premier of Victoria, said in the submission.

"We urge caution to avoid an atmosphere of suspicion towards Chinese businesses and organisations, and indeed towards the Chinese Australian community."

The bill has been championed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who said it was necessary to protect Australia's security.

"We are in danger of taking the relationship (with China) for granted," Helen Sawczak, chief executive of the ACBC, told The Australian Monday.

"We are supposed to be living in a global world supporting free trade. We can't go down the road of suspicion and protectionism," she said.