Beijing (AFP): Beijing called on Canberra to ensure "fair" treatment for Chinese businesses in Australia, after the country's defence department said it would strip its buildings of Chinese-made security cameras.
"We hope Australia will provide a fair, just and nondiscriminatory environment for the normal operations of Chinese enterprises," foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Thursday (Feb 9), accusing Canberra of "misusing national might to discriminate against and suppress Chinese enterprises".
Australia's decision follows similar moves in the United States and Britain, which have taken measures to stop government departments from installing Chinese-made cameras at sensitive sites.
Both countries have expressed fears that Chinese companies could be forced to share intelligence collected by the cameras with Beijing's security services.
At least 913 Chinese-made cameras have been installed across more than 250 Australian government buildings, according to official figures compiled by an opposition politician.
"The Chinese government has always encouraged Chinese enterprises to conduct overseas investment and cooperation in accordance with market principles and international rules, on the basis of respecting local laws," Mao said, adding Beijing opposed any action "stretching the concept of national security".