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  • Chubb_The_securitization_of_Chinese_influence_in_Australia_08_2021_JCC

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The securitization of 'Chinese influence' in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Forthcoming
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2/11/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Contemporary China
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

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 have been well documented since the 2000s, and cannot explain the timing of their securitization from mid-2017. It took the formation of a coalition of intelligence officials, politicians and journalists to overcome significant economic and societal disincentives to the public presentation of the PRC as a source of existential danger to Australia's political system. As the coalition expanded from security agencies to politicians, and then the media, the scope of threat expanded from an initial concern with PRC state intelligence activity to securitization of a much wider array of state and non-state activities under the ambiguous label ‘Chinese influence.’