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The securitization of 'Chinese influence' in Australia

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Contemporary China
Issue number139
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)17-34
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/03/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article traces the emergence of ‘Chinese influence’ as a conceptual touchstone of Australia’s public policy discourse in 2017–2018. The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) efforts to influence politics abroad had been well documented since the 2000s and cannot explain the timing of their securitization from mid-2017. It was through the formation of a securitizing coalition of intelligence officials, politicians, and journalists that the PRC as a source of existential threats gained policy traction. But as the coalition expanded from security agencies to politicians and the media, the scope of the threat expanded from an initial concern with PRC party-state activity to the securitization of a much wider array of state and non-state activities under the ambiguous label ‘Chinese influence.